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Salvatorians in the World

The Society of the Divine Saviour (SDS) 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.

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.


Salvatorians in Australia

The history of the Salvatorians in Australia began in 1961. A few years earlier the Archbishop of Perth, Redmond Prendiville, sent a letter of invitation to the head of our Order in Rome, Fr General Bonaventura Schweizer. Replying to the invitation Fr Schweizer sent the first Savatorian, Fr Paul Keyte to Australia in 1961. Fr Paul was asked to take pastoral care of the new parish of Bellevue. The parish community life centered around the local catholic school, as there was no church, no parish house nor office facilities. In the following years a few more Salvatorians from the British Province joined Fr Paul.

In 1966 the new St Anthony’s Church together with the accommodation for priests and the parish centre were opened in Bellevue. The parish of St Anthony was the only Salvatorian center in Australia until the year 1982, when Fr Aloysius McDonagh became the Parish Priest of Esperance, in the diocese of Bunbury. In the late 70’s prompted by the shortage in numbers, the British Province of the Salvatorians had been seriously considering passing on their ministry in Australia to the Polish Province.

During the transition period (1979-1987) four Polish Salvatorians worked together with the British Province Salvatorians (who were mostly Irish). Over all there had been 6 Salvatorian priests and one brother from the British Province who worked in Australia in 1961-1987. One of the priests is still continuing pastoral ministry in one of the Perth parishes.

In 1987 the Polish Province of Salvatorians officially took over from the British Province. This decision created a need for new people who would continue the ministry undertaken by the Salvatorians from the British Province. As a result three volunteers from the Polish Province arrived in Perth in 1988. Since then, almost every year we have been getting “new blood” from Poland. 

At present there are over 20 Polish Salvatorians sharing their lives and ministry in Australia.

Thanks to the wonderful personnel support of the Polish Province we have been able to expend and undertake pastoral care in a number of parishes in Perth and country areas of Western Australia. Since 1999 Polish Salvatorians have been working also in the Broken Bay Diocese, NSW. Following the teaching of our Founder, Fr Francis Jordan, we try to take a broad approach to our priestly ministry. Therefore we do not restrict ourselves to the parish pastoral ministry only. A few of our priests have been working as school chaplains over the last several years.


Salvatorian Founder

John Baptist Jordan (in religious life, Francis Mary of the Cross) was born on the 16th of June, 1848 in the village of Gurtweil, Baden, Germany. His parents were very poor and the family frequently went without the necessities of life. The death of his father obliged John to leave the village school and to help his mother and his brothers to provide for the family. Believing himself called to the priesthood, he began, in his 20th year, to study and was ordained a priest. He furthered his studies in Rome and in the Holy Land where he resolved to found a Religious Congregation, whose chief aim it would be to spread and increase by all ways and means the knowledge and love of Jesus, as the true Saviour of the World. 

His labours led to the founding of two Religious Societies. “The Society of the Divine Saviour” and “The Sisters of the Divine Saviour”. He died, after an active and holy life, on September 9th, 1918. His was the great joy of seeing the two Congregations carrying out their apostolate throughout the world.

*Please Visit SDS Australian website

Liturgical Life

  • Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament >   Thursday: 9:00am to 7:00pm
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