God doesn't intend for us to pursue his heart in solitude — we are called to journey together. This Lent, we invite you to make your 40-day journey alongside our missionaries in the field.

On Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent we will send you a devotional email with powerful stories and reflections from a Divine Word Missionary on that Sunday’s Gospel reading.

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Father Fransiskus Xaverius Magung SVD

Father Fransiskus Xaverius Magung SVD

Father Fransiskus Xaverius Magung SVD was born in Flores, Indonesia, in 1974. After joining the Divine Word Missionaries, he studied at the St. Paul Philosophy Institute in Flores before transferring to the Central Theological Union in Chicago. He was ordained to the priesthood in May 2005 at Techny, Illinois. After his ordination he was assigned to Hungary, serving first as an assistant parish priest, followed by six years in formation, followed by another six years as the province’s mission secretary. In 2019 he became a parish priest in the Diocese of Szombathely, where St. Martin of Tours was born. In May 2023 he was appointed provincial of the Hungary Province. 

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Father Richard Szippl SVD

Father Richard Szippl SVD was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1951. After attending minor and college seminaries run by Divine Word Missionaries in the United States, he worked as a lay missionary in Japan for two years. Following his novitiate in the United States, he began theology studies at Divine Word Seminary in Nagoya, Japan, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1981.

He taught history and religion at Nanzan University in Nagoya, authoring many scholarly articles on Japanese-European relations. During his academic career, he also served as vice president of Nanzan University and as principal of Nanzan International High School.

After retiring from academic life in 2019, he was appointed rector of Divine Word Seminary, Nagoya, and now oversees the formation of Divine Word seminarians from six countries.

Fr- Paulus Budi Kleden

Father Paulus Budi Kleden SVD

Father Paulus Budi Kleden SVD is the superior general of the Society of the Divine Word. He was born in Indonesia in 1965 and has been a member of Divine Word Missionaries since 1985. He professed his first vows in 1987, followed by perpetual vows in 1992 and ordination to the priesthood in 1993.

Father Kleden's early assignments included service in Switzerland from 1993 to 1996, followed by a role in the formation house in Ledalero, Indonesia.

His first leadership role with Divine Word Missionaries came when he served on the provincial council of the Indonesia - Ende Province from 2005 to 2008. Fr. Kleden was elected to the general council in Rome in 2012. He was elected superior general in 2018 and continues to serve in Rome.

Father Ouwakpare Victorin Oussoi SVD

Father Ouwakpare Victorin Oussoi SVD

Father Ouwakpare Victorin Oussoi SVD was born in Kouandata, Benin, in 1983. He joined Divine Word Missionaries in 2007 in Togo. His formation studies took place in Togo, Ghana and the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2019 and assigned to Germany, where he served as assistant pastor to a parish in Dresden from 2019 to 2022. Currently, he is a doctoral student at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei.

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Father Milan Knezovic SVD

Father Milan Knezovic SVD was born in the town of Vrgorac, Croatia, in 1974. Prior to enrolling in a diocesan seminary in 2001, he studied tourism and hotel management. He joined Divine Word Missionaries in 2004 in the Chicago Province, where he professed his first vows in 2006. He completed his formation at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and was ordained to the priesthood in 2011. After his ordination, he was assigned to Brazil.

Fr. Knezovic is currently mission secretary for the Brazil - North Province and subzonal coordinator for mission animation.

father binu paul narippara

Father Binu Paul Narippara SVD

Father Binu Paul Narippara SVD was born in Kerala, India in 1976. He joined Divine Word Missionaries in 2003 at St John’s Minor Seminary, Kerala.  His formation took place in Indore, Bhopal and Pune. He was ordained to Priesthood in 2012 and assigned to the Province of Togo. 

The first six years he worked in a in a rural parish Tindjassi in the northern Togo, where he used to involve in both pastoral and developmental activities of the society.  Since 2019 he is the Provincial Treasurer and also Director of an agro-ecological farm which is our response to Pope Francis’s encyclical “Laudato si”

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Father Peter Sam Cao Nguyen SVD

Father Peter Sam Cao Nguyen was born in Thu Duc, Vietnam, in 1960. He entered the novitiate in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, in 1981. A year later he professed his first vows. He pronounced his perpetual vows in 1985. He was ordained a priest on March 15, 1986.

Peter Sam, as he is commonly known, was assigned first to Paraguay. Later he joined the team of Divine Word Missionaries in South Korea. During the 16th and 17th General Chapters of the Society of the Divine Word, Peter Sam was the assistant secretary then secretary general, respectively. He speaks English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Korean.

He is currently the vice director of the Archdiocese of Seoul’s migrant pastoral committee, serving all migrants residing in the Seoul area.

father james vorwerk svd

Father Jim Vorwerk SVD

Father Jim Vorwerk was born in Burlington, Iowa, in 1943. He entered the seminary at Miramar in Duxbury, Massachusetts, after graduating high school and was ordained a Divine Word Missionary priest in December 1969 at Techny, Illinois. He was sent to Argentina, where he has served in pastoral and hospital ministry for more than 50 years. From 2002 to 2004, he was provincial superior for the Argentina Province. He has been involved in the Worldwide Marriage Encounter retreat program on the diocesan, regional and national levels. He is currently an assistant priest at Cristo Rey Parish in Oberá, the same parish where he began his ministry in Argentina.

Get more resources for Lent 2024 on our blog, The Mission Post!