Somaschi Fathers

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The Somascan Fathers are a charitable religious congregation of priests and brothers, founded in Italy in the 16th century by Saint Jerome Emiliani and named after the mother-house at Somasca. They are often called Somascans for short. In Italian, their formal name is Chierici Regolari di Somasca, abbreviated as C.R.S. after members' names (even outside Italy). There are currently about 500 Somascans serving around the world. They run many boys' homes, pastor parishes, and engage in other ministries.


In 1532, the priests Alessandro Besuzio and Agostino Bariso joined the charitable labors of St. Jerome Emiliani, a priest and converted former soldier and magistrate from Venice. St. Jerome founded the religious order called the "Company of the Servants of the Poor" in 1534, calling together his collaborators and companions for a general assembly. This handful of laymen and priests adopted an organized structure for the movement of religious and social reform started by Jerome in 1529 in Venice. Their goal was to dedicate themselves to the care, assistance, promotion of poor, orphans, abandoned youth, sick, etc, to any kind of works of mercy, and to any pastoral ministry according to the instructions of the bishops. placing the motherhouse at Somascha, a secluded hamlet between Milan and Bergamo. In the rule, Jerome puts down as the principal work of the community the care of orphans, poor, and sick, and demands that dwellings, food and clothing shall...
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