Facts & Figures
Glenmary Home Missioners
(aka The Home Missioners of America Inc.)
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.
Purpose and Ministry
The purpose of the society is to establish the Catholic Church in rural regions of the United States, nurturing the Catholic minority, and reaching out to the unchurched and the poor. Ecumenical cooperation is a hallmark of Glenmary's style of home mission ministry.
Glenmary was founded in 1939 in Cincinnati, Ohio, by Father William Howard Bishop, a rural pastor from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, who acquired the sponsorship of Cincinnati Archbishop John T. McNicholas.
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.
Glenmary currently staffs missions and 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 dioceses of
- 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.
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