A missionary spirit occupied much of our founder, Blessed Francis Jordan’s thoughts. The gospel verses proclaiming, “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew: 28) and “That they may know You, the one true God” (John: 17) were a driving source of encouragement for him.

Missionary work for the Salvatorian priests and brothers has prioritized evangelization, education, and humanitarian aid. Through evangelization, we work to share an understanding of the Catholic faith and bring people closer to God. Education helps to empower individuals and strengthen communities, and humanitarian aid has us responding to social injustices and offering essential aid and services. The Salvatorian mission is to bring the message of salvation and hope to those who are marginalized or struggling in various cultural, economic, and social contexts.

USA Salvatorians have served as missionaries in India, the Philippines, China, Mexico, Tanzania, and Indonesia. One very notable Salvatorian missionary was Fr. Arnold Cotey, SDS. He was ordained in 1949 and taught at our seminary in St. Nazianz. The following year, he traveled to Macao, China, fulfilling a lifelong dream to serve as a missionary. He remained there until 1954 when all missionaries, because of the rise of the Communist regime, were barred from the country.

Fr. Arnold and several other Salvatorians remained committed to missionary work. Negotiations quickly began with the Generalate in Rome and the USA Provincialate to establish a new, or take on an existing, mission in Africa. The initial proposal was to begin a mission in Uganda, but ultimately, one year later (1955), Fr. Arnold was among the first Salvatorians sent to initiate the mission in Tanganyika, now Tanzania, Africa. He became its first Mission Superior when the Diocese of Nachingwea was formed in 1963. Fr. Arnold became its first Bishop and the first Salvatorian in history to be ordained a bishop. He played a significant role in advancing missionary work by spreading Christianity to communities worldwide, including remote villages in Africa.

In 1983, the first native-African Bishop was appointed to succeed Bishop Cotey. Bishop Cotey stayed to help the new Bishop for a year before returning to the United States. He continued to minister in the USA in parish work until his retirement in 1996.

Salvatorians today continue fostering this missionary spirit. A great example of this is the work of the Salvatorian Mission Warehouse, which Bro. Regis Fust, SDS, started from a closet in 1963 and managed until his retirement in 2015. The warehouse continues collaborating with several countries and missions globally to send them relief goods to support their communities. Annually several 40-foot shipping containers are packed full of donated and repackaged relief goods that are then sent to communities under duress around the world.
Another example is the work that is done to support the Tanzanian Mission. Fr. John Tigatiga, SDS, serves as our Tanzanian Mission Director in the USA by sharing news on the growth of the Salvatorian Mission and encouraging support for the formation of future African priests and brothers. And, at the end of 2023 Bro. Silas Henderson, SDS, traveled to Southeast Africa to lead religious formation workshops.

As society continues to face challenges, the missionary work of the Salvatorians remains crucial in fostering positive changes and spreading messages of faith, love, and service.


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