Missionary Cenacle Family

Our founders: Mother Boniface Keasey, Dr. Margaret Healy, and Fr. Thomas A. Judge
Our founders: Mother Boniface Keasey, Dr. Margaret Healy, and Fr. Thomas A. Judge

We are one branch of a spiritual family within the Catholic Church: the Missionary Cenacle Family.

In 1909 Fr. Thomas Augustine Judge, CM became more and more concerned about Catholics losing their faith. The churches in Brooklyn where he was ministering were full, but he saw that many people, particularly immigrants from traditionally Catholic countries, were not coming to Church.

He was aware that as a priest he was not too popular with some of these non- practicing Catholics. Knowing this awareness to be an urging of the Holy Spirit, Fr. Judge invited a group of apostolic catholic women to meet with him to pray and plan about the problem of those Catholics in risk of losing the faith.

That first meeting which took place in Brooklyn, NY at St. John’s Parish was the beginning of what was to become the Missionary Cenacle Apostolate (MCA).  From this lay organization eventually came two new missionary religious congregations: the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity (a congregation of women) and the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity (a congregation of men). Father Judge believed in the capacity of ordinary men and women to love and serve God in the ordinary circumstance of their lives. He taught that by being a loving presence to the people we meet in our daily life we live out our Baptismal call to be Apostles

missioncenfam3Mother Boniface Keasey, a native of western Pennsylvania and a teacher, joined Father Judge’s missionary efforts in Alabama in 1916. By 1919, when the fledgling religious community of women was being formed, Father Judge named her the first General Custodian (Major Superior Superior).  Through her leadership the work of the Sisters spread beyond the confines of Alabama. In 1978 the Sisters, at a General Chapter recognized Mother Boniface as the Co-founder of their Institute.

Doctor Margaret Healy was an early associate of Father Judge. As an educator she came in contact with many generous young adults eager to be of service to God and the Church. In 1928 she was asked by Fr. Judge to assume the role of “General Custodian” for the combined lay groups which became known as the Missionary Cenacle Apostolate. She was to hold this office until 1964. At that time she was instrumental in the formation of the Blessed Trinity Missionary Institute (BTMI).  She was to serve as its first General Custodian.

The Missionary Cenacle Family exists to glorify the Triune God by participating in the mission of Jesus as an apostolic family which is missionary in the providence of daily life.