The Missionary Cenacle
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). Eventually, a secular institute of the laity was formed, the Blessed Trinity Missionary Institute (BTMI). 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.