The Society of the Divine Saviour is composed of Religious Priests, Brothers and Sisters. Three thousand men and women live today as members of one or other of the communities of Salvatorians founded by Father Jordan in 1881. Our aim is to make the Saviour more widely known and loved in the world of today.
The founder of the Salvatorians was a man of vision who wanted to open up to as many people as possible the truth of the Catholic faith "that all may know the goodness and kindness of the Saviour". He wanted to mobilise priests and lay people for this purpose using every means at their disposal, especially the press.
His original plan included three grades or orders. The First Grade were vowed religious as we know it today. The Third Grade were catechists, teachers, trades people etc. what we would call today lay ministry. The Second Grade were professionals like historians, scientists, theologians who used their talents to give talks, write pamphlets etc. which the First Order would publish and put into the hands of the Third Grade. Thus all were involved in teaching the "goodness and kindness of the Saviour".
Because of difficulties with having these innovative structures approved by the Holy See the original vision was modified. The First Grade evolved into the Society of the Divine Saviour in 1881 and the Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Saviour in 1888. The Third Grade lay dormant for many years but has been revived as Lay Salvatorians in the last 20 years.
From one room to the world Jordan first rented rooms at Santa Brigida in the Piazza Farnesse in Rome and set up a printing press. Soon the new group moved to its present location at Via della Conciliazione 51 and quickly expanded into many countries throughout the world.
Moved by the words of the Gospel: 'And eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.' (John 17. v.3.) our founder gave us the command and the mission not to rest content until all people know, love, and serve Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
What makes SDS different?
(Text written by Fr D.Driscoll SDS)
In theory Salvatorians seek to manifest or incarnate the "goodness and kindness of the Savior". In practice it has for me the following characteristics:
Universality - both in going anywhere and in using "all the ways and means the love of God inspires". Thus in our 120 year history we were at various times and places heavily involved in ministry of the press, education (High Schools, Colleges, Seminaries), retreat movements, foreign mission work, parish ministry and many other ministries. We take the risk of being 'Jacks of all trades and masters of none' but this also allows us to read the signs of the times and respond to them without being excessively weighed down by tradition.
Hospitality - our communities internationally are known for their openness and hospitality and individual Salvatorians as approachable, friendly and down to earth.
Collaborative or Participatory - from our origin we have tried to enthuse all to live out their baptismal dignity. We try to model this in having 'Salvatorian' ministries be a collaboration of Salvatorian Fathers/Brothers/Sisters/Lay Salvatorians together with those ministered to. Thus in parish ministry we would try to have a ministerial team be composed of fathers, brothers, sisters, lay Salvatorians and parishioners.