Historical Foundations and Present Realities
The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity serves the Church today by assisting in the mission of Jesus with the Holy Spirit that continues on in the mission of the Church until the return of Christ. Pope Pius XII in speaking about the needs of the Church in our times said that the Church is in need of a spiritual infusion. When Our Lady was forming The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity in 1958, she manifested her Society in such a manner as to help bring that spiritual transfusion of grace to the Church. In the history of the Church, it is always the gift of the Father in Jesus that is bestowed upon the People of God which brings renewal. We see historical witnesses of this gifting of Jesus by the Father throughout salvation history in specific renewal of the Church and the benefit of mankind.
St. Benedict, Patron of Europe saw the conduct that was present in the Church, especially in Rome and was moved by the Holy Spirit to go into solitude to a cave in Subiaco, Italy. There in this cave, he spent 3 years preparing himself to renew the Church in the gift of Jesus’ Work and Prayer, “Labore et Orare”. Thus the Church was renewed by Benedict in the life of Christ as expressed by Jesus’ work and prayer. This made manifest the renewal of the Church and consequently the whole of society. This gifting became a leaven to society; the art, music, literature, the very culture was transformed by the Benedictine spirit.
Likewise, when the Church was being choked with riches in the 12 Century, St. Francis and St. Claire of Assisi, were called by Christ to renew his Church through the Father’s gift of the Poverty of Jesus. Francis and Claire lived this gift and shared it with their followers. Again, the Church was renewed through this gift of God and the art, music, culture – the whole of society became “Franciscan”. At the time of the Protestant Reformation, the Church through the Catholic Counter-Reformation received the gift of the Father in the profound power of the Name of Jesus. This gift was expressed by St. Ignatius of Loyola and lived out in the Society of Jesus which he founded. The Jesuits stemmed the tide of division in the Church. Through the gift of the powerful name of Jesus, the Church and the culture were renewed.
“The Gift of The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity; The Gift of Communion”
Now in this Third Millennium of salvation history, the Church has a need for a new gift of Jesus that will bring about a spiritual transfusion appropriate to our times. The gift of the Trinitiarian life of Jesus in the Communion of the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit was given to the Church in the prayerful deliberations of the Second Vatican Council. Today, the Holy Spirit is brining the Communion of the Most Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in Jesus’ Trinitiarian life to all the Church.
Within this historical framework of the Father gifting Jesus to the Church in various expressions, The Society of Our Lady was founded in 1958 in the Parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, located in the Sangre de Christo Mountains. This parish was under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A. Our Lady’s Society quickly spread throughout the United States, having received the status of a Pious Society on July 16, 1958, the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity exists today in the Church as Societies of Apostolic Life for Priests and for Consecrated Spouses of Christ together with the Public Clerical Association of the Lay Faithful.
In the year 1965, Our Lady’s Society reached to the missions of Mexico. In the year 1967, The Society of Our Lady formally began to establish new missions (outside of the United States), beginning first in Central America and then extending into the Philippines in 1975. Missionary outreach then spread to Thailand, China soon after. The final decades of the 20th Century would see Ecclesial Teams from Our Lady’s Society serving in Russia, New Guinea and Western Europe.
On September 8, 1994, the Society received official approbation from the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life to be constituted in the Church as two Societies of Apostolic Life of Priests and Sisters of Diocesan Rite with Bishop Protector as the ex officio Ordinary of the diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, together with the laity aggregated to the Priests as a Pulic Association of the lay faithful.
In 1998, through the directives of Bishop Edmund Carmody of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, USA, The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity was sent to Rome for the purpose of the Formation and Training of The Society’s Seminarians for priesthood to take place within the Pontifical University Seminary system located in Rome. Through the cooperative efforts of the seminary house of studies of Mt. St. Scholastica, the seminarians of Our Lady’s Society began their formative studies at the Pontifical University of the Dominicans known as The Angelicum. During this time, Our Lady’s mission to this area established its first Ecclesial Team serving above the small hilltop town of Marano Equo, at the Marian Shrine known as “Il Santuario” and in the Parish of St. Chaledonia in the town of Vignola . In the great Jubilee year of 2000, The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity was then invited to serve in the Parish of St. John the Baptist in the city of Rome itself. Since that time, many members of The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, from all vocational branches, have had the opportunity to come to Rome and share in the experience of the Universal Church and its communion with the local Church.
At the present, the International Headquarters of Our Lady’s Society is located in the United States, in the city of Robstown, Texas under the Diocesan jurisdiction of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas. In looking forward to when The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity achieves Pontifical Status within the Church, the International Offices will be transferred at that time to Rome, Italy.
The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity is composed of Priests, Permanent Deacons, Religious Brothers, those who live in Consecrated Life as Spouses to Christ, Consecrated Widows and Widowers, Consecrated Virgins in the World, Consecrated Hermits and Hermitesses and the Lay Faithful, both married and single. These different branches of Our Lady’s Society live as her family, united in solidarity of graced friendships, in fidelity, loyalty and charity. Serving on Ecclesial Teams, Our Lady’s Society members live the spirituality of Discipleship of Jesus and Mary serving the Church in Apostolic Works. The gift that the our Heavenly Father gives in Jesus to the Church today through The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity is the Trinitarian Life of Jesus.