November 23 marks the anniversary of the death in 1933 of the Founder of the Missionary Servants of the Blessed Trinity.Fr. Thomas Augustine Judge was a handsome, charismatic speaker with a compelling vision and keen wit, who attracted thousands to the causes he espoused. He was a man of intense courage, valor, and vision. Born, in Boston, in 1868 of Irish immigrant parents, he was one of five children. When Tom was only eighteen his father died, and he had to leave school to help support the family. By 1890 the family had stabilized sufficiently for him to do what he had silently dreamt of for many years: becoming a Vincentian priest.
Ordained in 1899, Father Judge showed, from the earliest days of his priesthood, an intense interest in what he called “leakage” from the Church: hundreds of thousands of baptized Catholics, many of them newly arrived immigrants, lost to the faith through neglect, ignorance, or the negative effects of their new environment. He slowly came to one outstanding conviction… the only realistic solution to the needs of God’s abandoned people, was a missionary-minded, highly spiritual, zealous Catholic laity. Every Catholic is called to be an apostle!