Glenmary Home Missioners Turns 75

Posted: 1/21/2014

Dinner, special Mass among events
being planned throughout the year

CINCINNATI (January 21, 2014)—Glenmary Home Missioners is turning 75 in 2014!

Glenmary is a Catholic society of priests and brothers dedicated to establishing a Catholic Church presence in mission areas of Appalachia and the South. Founded by Father William Howard Bishop in Cincinnati in 1939, Glenmary is the only Catholic religious society dedicated exclusively to serving the spiritually and materially poor in the rural U.S. home missions.

A dinner and Mass are among the events being planned for the anniversary year.

The anniversary dinner will be held on Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Cintas Center at Xavier University in Cincinnati and will feature Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, as the guest speaker. Bishop Strickland is the son of a former Glenmary mission in Atlanta, Texas.

On Sunday, Oct. 19—Glenmary's Founder's Day and the Feast of the North American Martyrs—a 75th anniversary Mass will be celebrated by Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in downtown Cincinnati.

Other events are being planned throughout the year and will be highlighted on Glenmary's Web site.

"This anniversary is a milestone for our community," said Father Chet Artysiewicz, president of Glenmary. "Since our founding, over 100 Catholic churches have been successfully established in counties where, prior to the arrival of our missioners, the Church was not effectively present.

"This year, we will celebrate our past while remaining focused on continuing to meet the spiritual and material needs of those living in our current mission areas as well as planning for our future. There is still much work to be done to fulfill our founder's dream that one day the Church be present in every U.S. county," he said.

When Glenmary was founded in 1939, there were 1,022 U.S. counties without a resident priest. Today, in the southern United States alone, there are still more than 350 counties with no Catholic congregation or resident pastoral minister.

The ministry of Glenmarians and coworkers continues to be inspired by the vision of Father Bishop and by the society's mission statement:

"Alive with the fire of the Holy Spirit, Glenmary Home Missioners go out to rural and small-town USA, where the Catholic Church is not yet effectively present, proclaiming and witnessing to the Good News of Jesus Christ and the power of God's love, mercy and justice transforming the world."

"In addition to our work in the missions, we are also called to remind Catholics and all those with missionary hearts that not all missions are foreign, and to call them to partner with us as we continue to serve in areas our founder called 'the neglected regions of America,'" Father Artysiewicz said.

For 75 years, Glenmary missioners have sought out these areas and dedicated their lives to serving the needs of all residents, no matter what their religious affiliation.

"As we move through this decade and beyond," Father Artysiewicz said, "we look forward to continuing to establish Catholic communities where none have been before, promote ecumenical cooperation, evangelize the unchurched and provide social outreach to all those in need."