Missionary Cenacle Family

From VincentWiki


For more information visit their website Missionary Cenacle Family


The family was founded by Thomas Augustine Judge, who was concerned about Baptized Catholics who were being lost to the faith. After several years on the Vincentian mission band preaching in many parishes, he came to the conviction that every Catholic is called to be a missionary. He labored from then on to develop a missionary minded, zealous, Catholic laity.

A lay group was organized in Brooklyn, New York around 1910. Others groups were later formed and took the name “Missionary Cenacle” after the Upper Room where the disciples of Jesus were filled with the Holy Spirit.

Fr. Judge was sent by his community to Opelika, Alabama in 1915 where there was much prejudice against Catholics. The mission covered 8 counties and there were few Catholics. He requested that some of the Cenacle volunteers from the North join him and 6 arrived in 1916.

The ministry grew and others joined them. Later in 1919 a group of the women formed a religious community that became known as the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity.

By 1924 some of the men also formed a religious community that became known as the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity.

In 1962 a Secular Institute was formed known as the Blessed Trinity Missionary Institute.

Today men and women continue to share their time and talent as Missionary Cenacle volunteers.


  • 1868 - Thomas A. Judge born August 27
  • 1890- Enters St. Vincent’s Preparatory Seminary in Germantown, Pa.
  • 1899 – Ordained to the Vincentian Order at St. Charles Seminary, Philadelphia
  • 1909 – Six women respond to Fr. Judge’s appeal for lay apostles to share in the mission and ministry of the Church. They were later to become known as Cenacle Lay Apostolate.
  • 1910-1915 –Fr. Judge is an active member of the Vincentian Mission Band. He established lay apostolate groups in major cities and small towns from Maine to West Virginia.
  • 1911 – The first Missionary Cenacle is opened in Baltimore to care for homeless and unemployed women and to work among Italian immigrants.
  • 1915 – Fr. Judge is assigned to a Vincentian mission in Opelika, Ala. A number of lay volunteers follow Fr. Judge and give their lives completely to the Missionary Cenacle.
  • 1918 – The Cenacle in Alabama become incorporated under the title of “Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity” consisting mainly of Catholic ladies.
  • 1919 – Louise Margaret Keasey is appointed by Fr. Judge to be the first General Custodian of the new

sister’s community and receives the name Mother Mary Boniface.

  • 1920 – Archbishop John Bonzano gives his approval to the newly formed religious communities and to the Cenacle Lay Apostolate later to become known as the Missionary Cenacle Family.
  • 1929 – The priests and Brothers receive official canonical status from Rome and the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity are established.
  • 1931 – Mother Boniface dies.
  • 1932 – The sisters receive canonical status from Rome under the original title “Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity.
  • 1933 – Fr. Judge dies.
  • 1958 – Both religious congregations received Pontifical Status and the Decree of Praise from Rome.
  • 1964 – From the original Cenacle Lay Apostolate is now known as the Missionary Cenacle Apostolate, within which a pious union – the Blessed Trinity Missionary Institute.




Further Resources

Current Events






  • April 9, 2009: 100th Anniversary of the first gathering of laity with Fr. Thomas Judge, CM in St. John Perboyre Chapel at St. John's Parish in Brooklyn, NY.
  • April 16-19, 2009: Over 100 delegates of the Missionary Cenacle Family will gather in LaGrange GA and Holy Trinity, AL to celebrate this centennial. Lay missionaries, sisters, priests and brothers will come from the US, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Mexico, Jamaica (West Indies), Central America and Columbia (South America) for this event.