History of Edmundite Missions

On July 6, 1937, while the U.S. was still suffering from the effects of the Great Depression, two priests from the Society of St. Edmund answered Pope Pius XI’s call to minister to the African Americans of the Deep South. Could they have known how this act of faithfulness would impact the region for years to come?

When Father Francis Casey, S.S.E., and Father Barney Paro, S.S.E., arrived in Selma, Alabama, they were overwhelmed by the reality of how many people were living in shocking conditions, not unlike those expected in developing countries. Stunned at the level of poverty, the young priests jumped into action, serving sandwiches out of the back door of their house to those who were hungry. Thus, the Edmundite Missions was born.

Traditionally, Edmundite Missions has focused on providing education, health care, meeting basic needs—especially nutritional needs—and providing support during large-scale emergencies. Our work has always evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of those in poverty in the Deep South. Particularly, we deliver services in Selma, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; and the Alabama counties of Dallas, Perry, Monroe/Wilcox and Lowndes.

Helping anyone—regardless of race or denomination—Edmundite Missions continue to serve some of the poorest communities in the country. Reaching out to those most in need, the Missions provides a variety of programs to empower the people whom we serve. With the support and generous donations from caring people around the country, Edmundite Missions has been able to continue to reach out to God’s people through health, education, nutrition, clothing, housing, elder care, spiritual outreach and youth-oriented ministries.

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