Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions

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(PIME, Official Catholic Directory, #1050) an international society of secular priests exclusively dedicated to mission work, with a special emphasis on training local clergy and establishing local hierarchies. The society works under the umbrella of the Congregation for the evangelization of peoples. Members of the society work in Africa, Asia and the Americas. The society is the result of a merger effected by Pius XI in 1926 of the Institute for Foreign Missions of Milan and the Pontifical Seminary of SS. Peter and Paul for Foreign Missions of Rome. The Milan branch, the larger of the two, is the second oldest foreign mission society in the Church. Under the direction of the hierarchy it was established in 1850 at the request of Pius IX by Angelo Ramazzotti, who later became patriarch of Venice, Italy. Pietro Avanzini (183274) founded the Roman branch in 1871, also at the request of Pius IX. Priests from this branch worked in the California missions at the beginning of the 20th century. One of its members, Giovanni Bonzano (18671927), was apostolic delegate to the U.S. from 1911 to 1922, after which he was raised to the cardinalate. The society officially came to the U.S. in 1948 when, on the advice of the Holy See, it decided to become international. Cardinal Edward mooney invited the fathers to establish their American headquarters in Detroit, MI. The generalate is in Rome.

[n. maestrini/eds.]

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Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions

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