Priests of mercy

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The Congregation Priests of Mercy ( Latin : Congregatio Presbyterorum a Misericordia ( abbreviation : CPM), English : Fathers of Mercy ) is a religious order of missionary priests . It was founded in Lyon ( France ) in 1808 and built its General House in Paris in 1814 .


Order founder Father Jean-Baptiste Rauzan

The founder of the mission community was Jean-Baptiste Rauzan (* December 5, 1757, † September 5, 1847). After completing his theology studies , he taught theology and spiritual rhetoric . He was later called to Bordeaux as vicar general and started a missionary movement with the aim of preserving the faith in France.

Construction in France

With the support and recommendation of the Archbishops of Bordeaux and Lyon , Rauzan gathered a group of clergy around him in 1808 and began missionary work in France. Their missionary work in the Diocese of Troyes was subsidized by Napoleon I , who, however, stopped supporting the dispute with Pius VII and suppressed the work of the missionary priests.

Following Cardinal Fesch's suggestion , Father Rauzan founded the first congregation under episcopal law in 1814 . The new religious order continued its work in Orléans , Poitiers , Rennes , Marseille , Toulon and Paris . The later Bishop Charles-Auguste-Marie-Joseph de Forbin-Janson (1785-1844) was a co-founder of the order. In the course of the revolution, the missionaries were banished in 1830, and Father Rauzan turned to Pope Gregory XVI in Rome . Here he was given the task of founding a new community, which was to be called "Priests of Mercy". On February 18, 1834, the religious community received from Pope Gregory XVI. the approbation , together with the approbation letter, the congregation received its rules of the order . Between 1880 and 1905 the congregation was partially under the protection of the French King Louis XVIII. , the General House was relocated to Paris during this time. With the separation of church and state, the religious priests left France and settled in Belgium.

Construction in the United States of America

In 1839, Archbishop John Joseph Hughes of New York proposed that some missionary priests be brought to the United States . Following this invitation, the first station was set up in the Diocese of New Orleans . Following another invitation, they began their work in Mobile (Alabama) and took over the management of Spring Hill College. In 1841 they took over the care of the French who immigrated to America in New York and founded their own parishes in Manhattan and Brooklyn . In the years that followed, the missionaries established seminaries in Rome, Belgium, and France. Since 1940 the Society of Priests existed only in the USA and directed the Roman study seminary. It was recognized by the Vatican as an American community until 1961, after which it was given the title “Congregation Priests of Mercy”. Today the General House is based in Auburn, Kentucky and has had its own chapel since 2008 . William Casey has been Superior General since 1997.

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