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150th anniversary of Scheut Missionaries

Catholic World News - June 21, 2012

The Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Scheut Missionaries) is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding by Father Theophile Verbist.

The congregation’s founding years were a time “when European ideals were being debated between liberalism and fundamentalism, and nation states were tempted between secularization, anti-clericalism, and Masons,” Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, said at a June 16 anniversary Mass. “Pius IX pushed the Church in the work of evangelization and waves of missionaries departed from the old European Christianity to Africa, Asia, Oceania … It was a time when they saw the light of countless congregations and religious institutions.”

The missionary congregation now has 881 members, 389 of whom are from Belgium, 194 from the Congo, and 109 from the Philippines. While 380 members are 70 or older, 205 members are under 40.

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