Glenmary Home Missioners
GLENMARY HOME MISSIONERS
(Official Catholic Directory #0570) The Home Missioners of America (Societas Missionarium Domesticorum Americas ), popularly known as the Glenmary Home Missioners, was established by Father William Howard bishop to work in United States areas without resident priests. The society is composed of secular priests, living in community under oath to their superior general, and brothers, who assist as catechists, parish administrators, counselors, pastoral associates, and youth directors.
In 1937 there were more than 1,000 counties in the United States without resident priests, located largely in the southeastern states where the birth rate is proportionately higher than the national average. That year, under the patronage of Archbishop John T. mcnicholas of Cincinnati, Ohio, Bishop began publishing Glenmary's Challenge to mobilize forces to meet the urgent need of providing a Catholic priest for every U.S. community. His movement became a society when he was joined by five seminarians and Reverend Raphael Sourd in 1939.
In their evangelical outreach, the Glenmary missioners care for both the spiritual and daily needs of the people under their care. When the congregation is adequate to support a resident priest, the parish is returned to the diocese and the missioners are released for intensive activity elsewhere. Glenmary Missioners have worked in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Georgia, and North Carolina. The national Glenmary's headquarters is Cincinnati, Ohio.
Bibliography: w. h. bishop, "A Plan for an American Society of Catholic Home Missions to Operate in Rural Sections of the United States," Ecclesiastical Review 94 (1936) 337–47. h. w. santen, Father Bishop, Founder of the Glenmary Home Missioners (Milwaukee 1961). c.j. kauffman, Mission to Rural America: The Story of W. Howard Bishop, Founder of Glenmary (New York 1991).
[r. p. o'donnell/eds.]