About the Servites
St. Philip Basilica High School Gaels Alumni Association
About the Servites
This page contains relevant information about the origins of the Servite community.
- It's finally here! All "new"! With "new functions & features!"
- Take the "Virtual Tour!"
- Visit our new guestbook!
- Check-out all of the "new" photos in our galleries.
- Now accepting 2017 Annual Banquet Reservations
About Our School
This information contained in this box is linked to the History Page, of our web site. Information is provided about the rich History of St. Philip Basilica High School & our connection with the basilica. Read more...
About Our Alumni
The information contained in this box, is linked to further information about the St. Philip Basilica High School Gaels Alumni Association, its activities & "How to communicate directly with us." Read more...
Annual Alumni Banquet
The information contained in this box is linked to our Annual Banquet page, with information about our upcoming Annual Banquet, always held on the First Friday in May of each year. Read more...
Generally, our entire site is "NEW," with a new look, feel & features that will help enhance your experience, and provide you with "NEW" things you can accomplish. Watch this section for further information about New "Features" & "Functions," that we we will be adding to the site, from time to time. It will be your first "look" at out latest inclusions.
The Upcoming Events content in this box, will include news about any upcoming events that are planned for the future. You will be provided, here, with relevant information about our Annual Banquet & any actions directed by our alumni.
Our last banquet, held on Friday, May 6, 2016, was again very successful, with more then 150 attendees. Our next banquet will be held, as always, on the first Friday in May, this year on Friday, May 5, 2017. Read more...
About the Servites
Before the Servites ever existed as an official religious Order, seven prosperous men came together in the city of Florence, Italy, where they were born and grew up together. Drawn together by friendship and devotion to the Blessed Virgin, they gave themselves to common prayer and works of charity. As a reflection of the penitential spirit of the times, it had been the custom of these men to meet regularly as members of a religious society established in honor of Mary, the Mother of God. Eventually, the seven left their comfortable homes, put aside their finery and went to live together in a ramshackle building outside the city walls, and for a time, they followed a life of prayerful seclusion. The holiness and penitential lifestyle of the seven quickly attracted attention and people seeking prayers and spiritual direction became frequent visitors. To avoid these distractions that they considered a hindrance to the contemplative life they sought, the entire group moved to more peaceful surroundings, and established a hermitage on the summit of a nearby mountain, Monte Senario, sometimes known as the "sounding mountain."
Coming to be known as the "Friar Servants of Mary," others joined the first seven on Monte Senario, and as the group continued to grow, the seeds of the new religious Order took root. Their members would be committed to the service of the Lord and others. They promised to follow Christ and witness his gospel; they took the Blessed Virgin as their Lady; and they lived communal life according to the Rule of St. Augustine. The Friar Servants of Mary were approved as a religious Order by the bishop of Florence sometime between the years 1240 and 1247. In the year 1304, the Order of Friar Servants of Mary received definitive approval as a religious Order in the Church by the Holy See. Pope Leo XIII canonized them as the Seven Founders of the Servite Order in 1888.
Servite presence in the United States dates from 1852 when Fr. Antoninus Grundner of the Tyrolese Province began working among the German speaking Catholics first in New York City, then in eastern Pennsylvania, and finally as pastor of St. Alphonsus Church in Philadelphia. Fr. Grundner died in 1876 without having made a permanent foundation, though some Austrian Servites continued to work with Italian Servites in the midwest. While attending the First Vatican Council in 1870, Joseph Melcher, first bishop of Green Bay, Wisconsin, invited Servites to work in his diocese. That same year four Servites, under the guidance of Fr. Austin M. Morini, took charge of St. Charles Church in Menasha, Wisconsin. In 1874, Bishop Foley invited the Order to Chicago, and eventually, Chicago became the center of Servite activity in the United States. The American Province was established in 1909.
Today, the Servites serve in nearly all countries of North and South America. In addition, they are found in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. From a humble beginning they have been blessed with a long and rich history. They still, like their Seven Founders, go where the needs of God's people demand that they go, and still seek the perfection of the Gospel way of life under the protection of Mary, the Mother and Servant of the Lord.
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