The Society of the Divine Saviour
Our official title is the Society of the Divine Saviour and our main purpose is to bring people everywhere to a greater knowledge and love of our Divine Saviour. This means that we are an international missionary order in the very broadest sense.
We also believe it is important to use all the ways and means that Christ inspires to spread his Good News. For this reason Salvatorians are to be found using their talents in all sorts of capacities in parishes, missions, schools, universities, hospitals and many other situations throughout the world.
Rev Paul Harris SDS wrote this piece about the founder of the Order, Father Francis Jordan commemorating his beatification, for the Archdiocese of Liverpool website:
“The Salvatorian Community of priests, brothers, sisters and lay gives thanks to God for the Beatification of Venerable Francis Jordan, founder of the Salvatorians. This wonderful event comes as a result of the recognition of a miracle attributed to the intercession of Father Jordan after a long period of investigation.
Father Francis Jordan was born on 16 June 1848 in Gurtweil, a small German town in the Archdiocese of Freiburg. After Ordination to the priesthood on 21 July 1878, he was sent to Rome where he spent most of his life. In June of 1881 and being motivated by apostolic zeal and desire to make Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world, known and loved by all people everywhere, Francis Jordan founded the Society of the Divine Saviour (known more commonly as the Salvatorians) in the upper chapel of the Brigettine Convent situated on the Piazza Farnese in Rome.
This was soon followed by the founding of the Sisters of the Divine Saviour in 1888. Jordan also organised groups of lay people to take part in the Church’s mission of evangelisation using all ways and means the love of God inspires. By God’s good grace, Jordan soon went on to secure the permanent home of the newly established Order, which proudly stands on the Via della Conciliazione, in the shadow of St Peter’s Basilica, and is the motherhouse of the Salvatorians to this day. Father Jordan died in Tafers, Switzerland, on 8 September 1918.
On 19 June 2020, Pope Francis formally promulgated the decree of recognition regarding the miracle attributed to the intercession of Francis Jordan, opening the way to his Beatification, which took place in Rome on 15 May 2021.
In 2014, a young couple in Brazil were expecting a baby but received shattering news from medical doctors and specialists that their unborn child had an incurable bone disease known as skeletal dysplasia, which would render the child severely disabled and with future health complications. The parents, being members of a group of Lay Salvatorians, began to pray through the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God, Father Francis Jordan, inviting other members of the Salvatorian family to join them. Much to the amazement of all concerned, the child was born in a completely healthy condition on 8 September 2014, the day of the anniversary of Francis Jordan’s death and, of course, the birthday of Our Blessed Lady, Patroness of the Salvatorians.
Following strict procedure, the potential miracle was reported to the Archbishop of Jundai, who was the first Church official to consider the case, and who subsequently handed over his findings to the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints. After the long and difficult required canonical procedures had been successfully satisfied and completed, and with the full-time assistance of the Salvatorian appointed postulator for the Cause of Francis Jordan’s Beatification, the Holy Father, Pope Francis declared that this miraculous healing was worked by God through the intercession of Father Francis Jordan.
Blessed Francis Jordan is a true intercessor for our times, especially, it would seem, in cases of sickness in children. Work is now under way to examine other possible miracles worked through his powerful intercession. The Church rejoices in yet another powerful intercessor for the Lord’s people, who experience the daily reality of human brokenness and the fragility of life.
We pray that more people will experience many graces and favours, even miracles, through the intercession of Blessed Francis Jordan. Moreover, and in the spirit of Blessed Francis Jordan, our earnest prayer and desire remains the same as that of the Saviour himself:
Now this is eternal life: that all may know You, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sentJohn 17:3
Today there are around 1,200 Salvatorians at work in over 40 countries around the world, running parishes, schools, hospitals, clinics, social care centres and one of the largest universities in Africa, to name but a few important ministries. New mission foundations have recently been made in Kenya and Mozambique, and hopefully are soon to be made in Uganda and Belize. Here in the UK, the Salvatorians have the trusteeship of the Salvatorian College boys’ school in Harrow and the pastoral care and oversight of several parishes in five dioceses. The Archdiocese of Liverpool is our most recent presence, with the pastoral care of both Rainford and Billinge parishes.”
The Salvatorians are led by the General Chapter of the Society, made up of representatives from all of the Society’s units worldwide, and it meets every six years and is responsible for electing the Superior General and his Council, as well as setting the direction and priorities for the Society and Generalate. The General Chapter can make changes to the Society’s rules, subject to the approval of the Holy See.
At the head of the Society of the Divine Saviour stands the Generalate, elected for a six-year term by the General Chapter. The Generalate consists of the Superior General and his Council. The Council members are the Vicar General and three consultors.
The Superior General holds the highest office and has authority over all administrative units, houses and individual members according to the Society’s rules.
The current Superior General is Fr Milton Zonta from the Brazilian Province and he was elected in 2013 and is based in the motherhouse which is situated close to St Peter’s Square in Rome.
For more information click here for the Salvatorian’s website https://sds.org/
Salvatorians in the UK
The British Pro-province consists of twenty-five members living and working in Britain and Ireland but coming from several different countries.
The UK Provincial – Fr Richard Mway-Zeng – is Parish Priest of St Saviours Church, Abbots Langley, Herts
Click here for the British Province’s website https://sdsgb.org/
Parishes in England & Wales managed by Salvatorians
There are currently 7 churches making up 4 parishes
St Joseph’s Church, Wealdstone, London
St Saviours, Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire
Our Lady, Mother of the Saviour, Chipperfield, Hertfordshire
St Patrick, Plumstead, London
Holy Cross, Plumstead Common, London
Christ the King, Thornbury, South Gloucestershire
Holy Cross, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire