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Our History


  • 1941

    Fr. Menard ordained.

    Fr. Menard was ordained to the Holy Priesthood as a Franciscan (O.F.M.)


  • 1943-1946

    The young Fr. Menard

    The young Fr. Menard continued with graduate studies and meanwhile preached retreats at the Franciscan Retreat House in Châteauguay near Montreal.


  • 1945

    Mr. Hector Durand meets Fr. Menard

    Mr. Hector Durand, a wealthy building contractor, meets Fr. Menard on a retreat. Mr. Durand and his wife Clare later pledged their fortune to increase vocations to the priesthood. Fr. Menard always insisted on calling Mr. Durand the MSA “co-founder.”


  • 1946

    Seminary opens in Montreal

    First Holy Apostles seminary opens in Montreal for “older vocations.”


  • 1951

    Creation of the Society of the Holy Apostles

    Creation of the Society of the Holy Apostles (S.Ss.A.)., to form young men and adults (“older vocations”) for the priesthood, and for the direction of retreat houses and for service to poor parishes.


  • 1957

    Holy Apostles College & Seminary Opens in Cromwell, CT.

    In 15 years, Fr. Menard and Mr. Durand created two religious communities, four seminaries, two retreat houses, all with independent boards run by laity to administer the financial aspects of each of their works.


  • 1962

    MSA is founded by Rev. Eusebe Menard

    In 1962, the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles of the United States Province, are a community of Priests and Brothers founded by Rev. Eusebe Menard.


  • 1962

    Fr. Menard was exiled from Montreal.

    Fr. Menard was exiled from Montreal by Cardinal Paul-Emile Leger for reasons unrelated to any moral flaw of character. They would later reconcile. Bishop Damase Laberge, a fellow O.F.M. in Peru, then invited Menard to “re-found” his work there. In August 1962, the Society of the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles (M.Ss.A.) was created in South America.


  • 1962-1978

    Fr. Menard's work expands.

    With Mr. Durand’s support Fr. Menard expanded his work and apostolates in South America, Africa, and the U.S.A. He avoided Canada and even refrained from speaking to his members there out of obedience to Cardinal Leger.


  • 1972

    Mr. Hector Durand dies.

    Mr. Hector Durand died on March 7, 1972. In his will, he wrote, “I am sorry for not having built more houses to form priests.”


  • 1978

    Cardinal Paul-Emile Leger and Fr. Menard reconcile

    Cardinal Paul-Emile Leger left his bishop’s chair in Montreal for a mission in Africa. Unbeknownst to him, Fr. Menard had established a community in French-speaking Yaounde, Cameroon. When Cardinal Leger went there he unexpectedly met up with Fr. Menard and they reconciled their friendship. In spite of their early “falling out,” the Cardinal later became a champion of Fr. Menard’s work.


  • 1987

    Fr. Eusebe Menard died.

    On March 26, 1987, Fr. Eusebe Menard died in Montreal. Soon afterward talks began about how to unify the two societies that he founded.


  • 1995

    Historic Unification

    The Society of the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles (M.S.A.) was established, officially unifying the S.Ss.A. and the M.Ss.A.


  • 2000

    Approval of Holy See

    The Holy See approved the Constitution & Norms of the new MSA.


  • 2000

    Status of Pontifical Right

    Saint John Paul II recognized the MSA as a Clerical Society of Apostolic Life and bequeathed it the status of Pontifical Right, which placed the MSA under the auspices of the Bishop of Rome rather than a local ordinary.


  • 2006

    Amended Constitution

    The MSA Constitution & Norms were amended in 2005 and approved by the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in Rome. The new edition was promulgated by our MSA General Animator Rolland Barrette from Montreal during Easter 2006.


  • 2011

    Franciscans Aggregate M.S.A.

    The Franciscan Order of Friars Minor officially aggregated the M.S.A. into the Franciscan family.


  • 2014

    MSA Expands into Asia

    New MSA communities were established in Vietnam and Indonesia.


  • 2017

    First M.S.A. Bishop

    Pope Francis appointed Rev. Christian Rodembourg, M.S.A. as Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Hyacinthe, Canada (south of Montreal and north of Vermont). His grace (Canadian title) is the first “M.S.A. Bishop” ordained to the Apostolic Office. He was consecrated and installed on September 17, 2017.


  • 2021

    Second M.S.A. Bishop

    On October 23, 2021, Pope Francis appointed Rev. Isaac Circuncisión Martínez Chuquizana, M.S.A., as bishop of the Diocese of Cajamarca, in northern Peru. Bishop Isaac, who served two terms as the General Animator (Superior) of the M.S.A., was consecrated and installed on December 7, 2021.


  • 2022

    Very Rev. Luis Luna Barrera, M.S.A. Re-Elected General Animator

    In August 2022, at the M.S.A. General Assembly, the Very Rev. Luis Luna Barrera, M.S.A. was re-elected General Animator of the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles for a second, five-year term. For several years, Fr. Luna, himself a Canon Lawyer, has been a beloved Professor of Canon Law at the MSA sponsored Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, CT (USA).