Facts & Figures

Glenmary Home Missioners

(aka The Home Missioners of America Inc.)

Purpose and Ministry

The purpose of the society is to establish the Catholic Church in rural regions of the United States, nurture the Catholic minority, and reach out to the unchurched and the poor. Ecumenical cooperation is a hallmark of Glenmary's style of home mission ministry. 


A society of Catholic priests and brothers committed to serving rural America. The name is derived from Glendale—the Cincinnati, Ohio, suburb where the group's headquarters was located until 1971—and Mary, the society's patroness under her title Our Lady of the Fields. Glenmary was founded in 1939 in Cincinnati, Ohio by Father William Howard Bishop. Originally a priest from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Father Bishop aquired the sponsorship of Cincinnati Archbishop John T. McNicholas to begin his great missionary outreach to "No Priest Land, USA." 

Priests and Brothers

As of July 5, 2018, there are 27 priests, 13 brothers and two transitional deacons awaiting priestly ordination within Glenmary. The society has nine students in formation.

Coworkers in Mission

Lay men and women partner in many ways with Glenmary members to carry out Glenmary's mission to rural America. Lay pastoral coordinators currently staff missions in Kentucky and North Carolina. The Glenmary Group Volunteer Program in Grainger County, Tenn. is administered by lay staff, and lay people comprise the majority of support staff.

Mission Facts

Glenmary currently staffs 10 missions and numerous ministries in the small towns and rural areas of Appalachia and the South. They minister to the spiritual and material needs of people in the following (arch)dioceses of Cincinnati, Ohio; Indianapolis, Ind.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Raleigh, N.C.; Savannah, Ga., Lexington, Ky.

  • Nearly 1.5 million people live within Glenmary's mission territory. Of these, just under 11,000, or 0.7 percent, are Catholic.
  • A significant percent of the total population is unchurched (that is, does not attend any church on a regular basis).
  • The poverty level within Glenmary mission areas is almost twice the national average.
  • In the southern United States, 173 counties have no Catholic congregation. Another 196 have a Catholic congregation but no resident pastoral minister.

For more information, contact communications@glenmary.org.

Next: Glenmary leadership.