The Southern Philippine Province, came into existence with the re-division of the Philippine SVD in 1982 and is dedicated to Bl. Joseph Freinademetz. It covers the regions of the Visayas and Mindanao.
In the Visayas, we are active on the islands of Cebu (University of San Carlos, Divine Word Formation Center, Blessed Freinademetz Formation House, Bl. Arnold Janssen Parish, Radio Stations DYRF AM and DYDW FM, and Divine Word Social Communications Center in Cebu City), Bohol (Divine Word College in Tagbilaran City), and Leyte (Divine Word University). In Mindanao, we are present in the Diocese of Surigao in northeastern Mindanao (Surigao District), the Diocese of Butuan in central Mindanao (Agusan District), and the Archdiocese of Davao in south eastern Mindanao (Regional Major Seminary and DW Formation Center in Davao City).
The Philippine Southern Province has 126 members in perpetual vows who hale from ten different nations (year 2008). The Province is quite young, with an average age of 46.0 years. The apostolic or missionary involvement of the province can be categorized into four areas:
Who are we? We are religious and missionary brothers and priests. The SVD-PHS works in Education, Formation and Pastoral Ministry characterized by four dimensions: communications, mission animation, justice and peace, and the bible.
On Education: We communicate the Word to more than 30,000 students in our three schools, namely: University of San Carlos in Cebu, Holy Name University in Bohol and Liceo del Verbo Divino in Tacloban, Leyte.
On Formation: We form young adults who desire to be religious missionary brothers or priests. The Formation Community for brothers is in Cebu City, while the cleric/priest candidates study philosophy at the Divine Word Formation Center in Davao City and in the Christ the King Mission Seminary in Quezon City. We are also involved in the formation of diocesan seminarians in the Regional Major Seminary in Davao City.
On Pastoral Ministry: We are missionaries of the “Word to the World”. The people whom we work with are our dialogue partners. We chose the word dialogue to underline the importance of communication and the implication of a two-way traffic in communicating the Word. Our Pastoral Ministries cover parish administration in the provinces of Surigao, Agusan del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Bohol and Cebu. We also have specialized apostolates in the slum areas, with sexually abused children, as well as with indigenous people; we do hospital chaplaincy, manage radio stations, enterprises and retreat centers, undertake Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation projects and engage in the Bible ministry.
We allow ourselves to be led by the hand of Divine Providence like children. When it becomes clear that this or that is his Will, then it is time to act decisively. As long as such is not the case, we are somewhat like a man who taps about in darkness. St. Arnold Janssen