The Founder of the Salvatorians, the Servant of God Fr Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan was born 16th June 1848, in a poor, rural family in Gurtweil, the archdiocese of Freiburg. At the age of 30, he was ordained a priest. As a seminarian, he felt that God was called him to found the Church’s apostolic work by fully engaging in the apostolic mission of the Church with the help of all possible ways and means. In Rome he founded the Apostolic Teaching Society on 8th December 1881, which eventually turned into a religious institute called the Society of the Divine Saviour.
On 8th December 1888, with the help and and participation of the Blessed Mary of the Apostles, he founded a female branch of the Assembly, called the Salvatorian Sisters. Father Jordan was the first superior General of the Salvatorians, permanently staying at the main house in Rome. He founded numerous apostolic institutions in Europe, Asia, and America with great courage.
The last three years of his life were spent in Switzerland. It was a very hidden life, full of great suffering. He died at the age of 70 on 8th September 1918. In 1956 his remains were transported to Rome. His process of beatification continues.
The purpose of the Society is to strengthen, to defend and to spread the Catholic faith everywhere in so far as directed by Divine Providence. Therefore, by exercising this ecclesiastical teaching function in word and writing, it intends to achieve the end that all people might know more and more the one true God and Him whom He sent, Jesus Christ (Rule from 1882).
The Polish Province: Poland is amongst the 42 countries where Salvatorians are working. The first Salvatorians arrived in Poland 1900. The Polish Province was founded in 1927, and has since grown to over 450 members, which is more than one-third of the total Society. The visible expansion of the province in the 1930’s was halted by the Second World War. In 1945 in the new post-war situation, Salvatorians took up challenge of the Episcopate of Poland, and many priests and brothers started pastoral work in the west of Poland, which belonged to Germany before the war. Also Minor Seminaries restarted, including some catering for late vocations, and also retreat houses and the Union for the Salvatorian Collaborators was reactivated.
It was only 1968, that some Salvatorians were allowed to do mission work in Tanzania in East Africa. Since 1997, formation activities have been dynamically growing. The members of the Province are involved in the following apostolic works: parish work, pastoral care at the foreign missions, parish missions and retreats, apostolic work within the mass-media, spiritual formation, academic teaching at the universities, pastoral youth ministry, apostolic work abroad, pastoral work with Polish people abroad, work in hospices, chaplaincy for religious sisters and brothers, and chaplaincy in hospitals, schools and military units.
Currently the members of the Polish Province are present in 22 countries of the world: Albania, Australia, Brazil, Belarus, Canada, Comoros, Congo, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Liechtenstein, Poland, Russia, Spain, France, Switzerland, Tanzania, Ukraine, USA, and of course, in Scotland.
Altogether, outside of Poland there are 172 priests and brothers. These are working apostolically within communities that belong to the Polish Province or within other administrative units of the Society. In the UK we work in close cooperation with Salvatorians of the British Pro-Province.
Through all the ways of working successfully in the apostolate, the most important and essential means is by giving good example according to the saying: Words move, examples lead. All can and should be good examples and thus help others to know and love God, because “this is the eternal life that all people should know the only true God, and the One whom He has sent, Jesus Christ” (J 17,3
Fr Bogdan Palka, St John the Baptist RC Church, Perth