Saint Augustine's Seminary

Home of the Society of the Divine Word Southern Province

199 Seminary Drive

Bay Saint Louis, MS 39520-4626


Saint Arnold Janssen

Founder of the Society of  the Divine Word

Brother Wendelin Meyer, SVD

Father John Peil, SVD

Father  Aloysius Heick, SVD

First SVD Missionary to the

Southern USA.

These Divine Word Missionaries played an important role in the establishment of    Saint Augustine Seminary.

Read about their important contributions in the two articles cited below.

Father Matthias Christmann, SVD

Father James Wendel, SVD

Historical Summary of the beginnings of St. Augustine Seminary



One of the important historical moments for African American Catholics is the establishment of the Seminary for African American Catholic men in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi. Its significance is not in question.  We remember the ordinations of 1934 and the many ordinations that followed. We remember the beginnings of the African American brothers. Yet, little is known about how all it happened. What were the forces that shaped the opening of the seminary in Greenville, Mississippi in 1920 and the subsequent move to Bay Saint Louis in 1923?  Let us take some time to consider how it all came about.


 Two articles were printed in the February and April 2015 editions of IN A WORD that shed light on "how it all came to be".


Part 1 of the background to this important history can be found here in the February 2015 issue


Part 2 of the important role played by James Wendel and Matthias Christmann can be found here in the April 2015 issue