Xaverian Missionary Fathers

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(SX, Official Catholic Directory #1360); officially known as the Saint Francis Xavier Foreign Mission Society; founded, 1898, at Parma, Italy; received papal approbation, first given in 1906, was made definite on Jan. 6, 1921. The founder, Guido Maria conforti, became archbishop of Ravenna in 1902 and, later, bishop of Parma. The particular aim of the society is foreign mission work, to which the members bind themselves by a special vow. According to the desire of the founder, the characteristic spirit of the Xaverians should be a combination of faith, obedience, and brotherly love.

On May 13, 1906, the newly erected prefecture apostolic of Western Honan was entrusted to the Xaverians, who had been working in China since 1899. In 1948 they began work in Japan. Missions in Sierra Leone followed in 1950; Indonesia and Mexico, in 1951; Pakistan, in 1952; Brazil, in 1953; and the Congo, in 1958. In Italy the society is particularly active in promoting education and information about mission and evangelization through the mass media. Its publishing house is responsible for missionary magazines and reviews, and for several series of books. The Xaverian Missionary Sisters of Mary (Xaverian Sisters), founded at Parma in 1945, are the female branch of the society. The generalate is in Rome; the United States provincialate is in Wayne, New Jersey.

Bibliography: g. bonardi, Guido Maria Conforti (Parma 1936). g. barsotti, Il servo di Dio Guido Maria Conforti (Rome 1953).

[f. sottocornola/eds.]