The Fathers of Mercy is a Roman Catholic Congregation of Priests whose primary Apostolate is preaching parish missions and retreats, with an emphasis on the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Confession.
Who Are The Fathers of Mercy?
The Congregation of the Fathers of Mercy was founded in 1808, originally under the title of the “Missionaries of France.” The community was founded for the purpose of re-evangelizing the French people after the Catholic Faith had been subjected to years of attacks and persecution during the French Revolution. It is now an exclusively American community. The Generalate of the community is located a few miles outside of Bowling Green, Kentucky. The primary apostolate of the Fathers of Mercy is to conduct parish missions and retreats, which are now given throughout the United States, Canada and Australia.
“My brethren, if any one of you strays from the truth and someone brings him back, he ought to know that he who causes a sinner to be brought back from his misguided way, will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5, 19-20).
Early in the Nineteenth Century the Fathers of Mercy were called to bring back the prodigal children of the French Revolution. Today our apostolate has not changed, for we seek to bring the Mercy of God to the prodigal children of our times.
Nature: We are a religious clerical congregation of pontifical right.
General Purpose: The honor of God and the sanctification of our members.
Specific Purpose: The following of Christ and the perfection of the individual members through our apostolate for the propagation of the Faith and the salvation of souls.
Character: We are entirely ordered to the apostolate, with our primary focus on the Spiritual Works of Mercy. This apostolate may be undertaken among those without the true Faith or among the faithful living in rural or neglected areas. The primary apostolate of the Fathers of Mercy is the preaching of parish missions and retreats; we also assist bishops with the staffing of rural parishes.
Aware of the crisis of the Faith and the disastrous effects of the French Revolution on the faith of the people, Father Jean Baptiste Rauzan, at the invitation of Cardinal Fesch of Lyons, brought together a small group of priests to form a mission band.
After the great upheaval and persecution which the Church suffered in France during the Revolution, the clergy and laity sought from heaven extraordinary ways to foster the salvation of souls, for most of the people had left the True Faith.