Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity

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(MSBT, Official Catholic Directory #2790); an American missionary congregation of women of pontifical status, founded, 1912, by Thomas Augustine judge, CM, as a companion community to his society for priests, the missionary servants of the most holy trinity. In 1909, while stationed at St. John the Baptist parish in Brooklyn, N.Y., Judge organized the Missionary Cenacle Apostolate, one of the earliest lay missionary groups in the U.S. Community life was inaugurated in 1912 by a small group of those lay associates who had taken private vows. Between 1912 and 1915 two other houses were opened and named Missionary Cenacles of the Holy Spirit and the Apostles. In 1916, a year after Judge had been transferred to the Vincentian missions in eastern Alabama, he was joined by a few of his Northern lay associates. Their school, opened in Russell County, offered a program suitable for the needs of impoverished families, and the home-visiting services of the "Catholic Ladies," as they were called, soon won the confidence of the people.

In 1918 they were incorporated as a missionary organization with special devotion to the Blessed Trinity; a year later they were organized as a formal religious congregation under Lulu Margaret Keasey (Mother Mary Boniface) as first superior. As the work expanded, the first motherhouse at Holy Trinity, Ala., founded missions throughout the U.S., the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, staffing them with sisters and lay associates. In 1930 a fire demolished the original foundation, and the motherhouse was moved to Philadelphia, Pa. In 1932, a year after Mother Boniface's death, Rome granted the decree of canonical erection and in 1958 raised the congregation to pontifical status. The sisters are engaged in education, catechetics, clinics, healthcare, pastoral ministries, social outreach and retreats.

Bibliography: j. v. benson, The Judgments of Father Judge (New York 1934).

[m. rahaley/eds.]

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Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity

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