Our founder, St. Arnold Janssen, was a hardworking, practical man and he passed those traits onto succeeding generations.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Divine Word Missionaries was growing very rapidly and money was scarce. Pioneer missionaries to New Guinea were faced with the challenge of supporting themselves and advancing their work. Whereas in Europe, our young community had a printing press to produce income, in New Guinea, few people could even read. To solve the problem, St. Arnold instructed the missionaries to establish plantations. The crops from these plantations would sustain the missionaries and produce income needed to build churches and schools, train catechists, provide medical care and support our missionary priests and Brothers.

As much as things change, some things remain the same. The need to build churches and schools, run medical clinics, care for orphans, train seminarians and take care of our missionaries continues to grow. The generosity of our friends and benefactors has always been wonderful and is the mainstay of our support. As good stewards, it is our responsibility to make the most of these generous gifts. In the light of good stewardship, and in the light of today’s economic climate, we have returned to farming as a solid investment in the future of Divine Word Missionaries.

Our farmland in Iowa is dedicated to supporting specific overseas missions by providing them with a level of financial support each year. The annual income for these very worthy missions does not cover all their expenses, and that is fine. It does, however, give the missionaries a chance to "catch their breath" from pressing financial stress so they can begin planning for self-reliance in the future.

Divine Word Missionaries
Techny, Illinois 60082
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