New statues help tell the story of DWC

Anonymous benefactors bring saints to DWC campus
 A crew from Tegler Wrecker & Crane Service works with Jim Callahan and Bros. Kevin Diderich and Vinh Trinh to place the statues as Fr. Tim Lenchek looks on.
Near the front entrance to Divine Word College stand statues of two of the most revered men in the Society of the Divine Word—St. Arnold Janssen, and St. Joseph Freinademetz. On the other side of the building, in a shaded area of the courtyard, stands a statue of Mary—Our Lady of La Vang—holding baby Jesus. Together, they help tell the story of DWC.
The seven-foot tall, solid marble statues are gifts to the college from three anonymous benefactors. The marble was quarried and then chiseled into shape by skilled sculptors in Vietnam. Together, these new campus landmarks will help people understand the connection between DWC and the worldwide SVD.
Born in Germany, St. Arnold Janssen founded the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), in Steyl, Holland, in 1875, and two orders of religious women, the Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters (SSpS) in 1889 and the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters (SSpSAP) in 1896. In 1895, he sent Bro. Wendelin Meyer, SVD, to the U.S., where he helped establish Techny and developed support for the society in Iowa. The SVD has grown to be the largest Catholic missionary order in the world. St. Arnold was canonized on October 5, 2003, by Pope John Paul II.
St. Joseph Freinademetz was born in Tyrol, located in northern Italy near Switzerland. He became a diocesan priest, but felt a call to be a missionary. He joined the newly formed SVD and
St. Arnold Janssen, SVD, (right) and St. Joseph Freinademetz, SVD,
was one of the first two priests to go on mission, traveling to China with Fr. John Anzer, in 1879. Fr. Freinademetz remained there the rest of his life and was much loved by the people of China. He was canonized with St. Arnold, on October 5, 2003, by Pope John Paul II.
Mary, Our Lady of La Vang, is said to have appeared to a group of early Vietnamese Catholics who faced persecution in the late 1700s. Seeking refuge in a rain forest at La Vang, many became ill. While they were praying the rosary one night, Mary appeared to them in a tree carrying baby Jesus. She told them to boil the leaves of the nearby trees and to drink the liquid, which cured them. Churches were built in honor of the apparition, and the event is widely celebrated. The Blessed Mother’s presence in the courtyard reflects the connection DWC has with other cultures. The SVD has missionaries in 70 countries around the world. The reverence for her is shared by all.
Divine Word College is honored to have these wonderful statues to help tell the story of the college and its legacy around the world.