Divine Word Missionaries
History & Tradition
History & Tradition
Communities of the Word
Stories of the Chicago Province, 1895-2012
One Divine Word, Many Writers
Communities of the Word: Stories of the Chicago Province 1895-2012 has taken four years of hard work and research, and the collaboration of nearly two dozen confreres assisted by alumni and Province Center staff members, but the stories of the communities of the Chicago Province (1895-2012) are finally ready.
Profound gratitude and thanks go to Chicago Province Archivist Marcia Stein who provided the inspiration for this work. The idea for this project came from conversations with some of the older confreres. Marcia has been the prime mover of this work. Along with Archives specialist Peter Gunter, she has provided information, researched facts, shared documents and located photos for this project.
Elmer Nadicksbernd deserves our utmost appreciation. He has spent countless hours gathering the written history of each community, district and location where the Chicago Province has had a presence in the past hundred years. He did a fantastic job working with the individual authors of each local story offering guidance and encouragement, calling on his experience as a church historian and author to help them produce an accurate, balanced account. The work is a testament to his expertise and his dedication to the Chicago Province and its history.
In explaining the purpose and focus of this project, Elmer wrote: “In 2000 Ernest Brandewie gave us the history of the Society of the Divine Word in the United States in his book, In the Light of the Word. He had spent many hours researching the archives, untiring in his effort to tell the story accurately.
“As the years passed so did the desire for a greater understanding of the places, the work, and the men upon whose shoulders we now stand. The ‘old-timers’, whose stories we may have heard in the past, are rapidly going to the reward for their labors. The younger men who desire to cast their lots with us in a missionary vocation are not always aware of where we have been or of how we have arrived where we are.
“This present work is meant to fill in the gaps of our knowledge of the individuals and the places that have been and still are so important to us as a missionary community. The men who undertook this present writing are, by and large, not trained historical scribes. Rather, they are men who have been trained by the men whose stories are told here. Our scribes have all been indelibly marked by these giants. All have fond memories of the places in which they studied, worked, and trained for their missionary work.
“Each scribe has told in his own way the story of the place about which he writes. The individual scribes have expressed their own points of view about the different communities and various men involved. It is the hope now that these stories will stir others to remember their own time in our various and different communities and add their own thoughts to the history of the Chicago Province.”
The individual histories will be presented in the order in which they are listed here, along with the name of the person who researched and wrote the history.
Just like the exciting comic books of our youth and the longrunning stories that filled magazines of old, our history will be serialized with one exciting story issued each month as an addendum to the Chicago Province Newsletter.