December 15, 2020

Early Days of the Congregation: Brothers Augustine, Anthony and Joseph

Brother Augustine Philips

Brother Augustine Philips, S.T. 1886-1952

Brother Augustine Philips, S.T., was the first male follower of Fr. Judge in the cenacle movement which resulted in the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity. Father Judge stated that it was Brother Augustine who contributed so much to the founding of the men’s Community. Father Judge is quoted as saying, “There would be no Community without Brother Augustine.” Brother Augustine came to assist Father Judge as a catechist with no desire to be a priest. His vocation goes back to 1913 or 1914 when he was commuting from Dover, NJ, to work for the Prudential Insurance Company in Newark, NJ. He was invited by a Cenacle Associate to help train a group of Italian-American boys for First Communion. It was through this work, Brother met Father Judge. He is the one who made the down-payment on the Holy Trinity, AL property through a generous gift from a Mrs. Walker. He named the seminary in Holy Trinity, St. Joseph’s Prep Seminary. He was the first Custodian of the first three foundations of the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity– Holy Trinity, AL, Gillette, NJ, and Stirling, NJ. Brother was with Father Judge in many perilous days and he never lost the vision that “it must be God’s work if it is to persevere.

Brother Anthony Kelley

Brother Anthony Kelley, S.T. 1884-1950

Brother Anthony Kelley, S.T., was from Paducah, Kentucky. His early years were spent in the world as a successful businessman, a cotton broker for one of the largest firms in the South and later in his own business. He had a way about him that was a mixture of Southern graciousness and Irish wit. In 1926, he drove a friend to Holy Trinity, AL, and was amazed and shocked at the conditions a handful of young men studying for the priesthood had for a residence. It amazed him that anyone could choose such a life of poverty. On a second trip back to bring food and money, he met Father Judge. Father Judge asked him, “When are you coming to stay with us, Mr. Kelley?” Finally, after much thought and prayer, he was back in Holy Trinity on February 1, 1927– there to stay. While he wanted to study for the priesthood, Father Judge told him he needed a beggar to seek funds for the struggling group. Anthony became just that, approaching the many contacts he had in the South and North for sixteen years. He looked beyond the personal satisfaction of being a priest. Brother Anthony was an unfailing example of cheerfulness. He was instant and unquestioning in obedience. He exuded peace and charity; he loved his confreres and his confreres looked upon him as our special “Uncle Mike.”

Brother Joesph Limpert

Brother Joseph Limpert, S.T. 1893-1976

Brother Joseph Limpert, S.T., entered the MIssionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity in 1926. He was immediately missioned to Holy Trinity Academy in Stirling, N.J. as assistant prefect. Prior to joining the Community, he worked as a clerk accountant for the Mack Truck Company in New York. His business experience and his generous and zealous spirit were put to good use in later assignments over the years in Holy Trinity, AL, Puerto Rico, Stirling, NJ, Brackney, PA, and Silver Spring, MD. His reliability, industry and devotion to Missionary Cenacle ideals made Brother Joseph a valuable help to the Community during the last seven years of Father Judge’s life, and still more in the years which followed. In difficult times, his buoyant, unquestioning faith and trust in God was a bulwark to the Community. An example of hospitality, his graciousness won many friends for the Congregation. Brother Joseph’s spirit simply says, “Of course, the Cenacle is of God; of course, it will go on.” Now let’s get to the task at hand.”

Resources for the Centennial Celebration

Are you looking for ways that your mission can celebrate the centennial?