The MSA United States Province was established in 1995 with the founding of the Society of the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles. However, the beginnings of the United States Province can be traced back to 1956. Father Menard had already established the Society of the Holy Apostles in Canada to promote adult vocations to the priesthood. The number of Americans attending his seminary in Montreal convinced him it was time to open a seminary for adult vocations in the United States. So, Father Menard dispatched Br. Joseph Barabe with instructions to find a suitable location outside a large metropolitan area to open a seminary. Trusting in divine providence, Br. Barabe departed Montreal with no money and no specific prospects on potential locations.
After looking at several sites in the New York City area, Br. Barabe became aware of the availability of a suitable set of buildings in Cromwell, CT. The facility had previously been used as a sanitarium but had been vacated for several years. Thanks to some generous donors and the support of the local bishop, Holy Apostles Seminary opened its doors in Cromwell on July 10th, 1957.
In 1962, Father Menard was required to leave the Society of the Holy Apostles in Canada in order to continue his ministry of promoting adult vocations. While disappointed, Father Menard quickly received approval to start the Society of the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles (M.S.s.A.) as a ‘pious union’ from the bishop of the Apostolic Vicariate of Saint Joseph de l’Amazone in Peru. This new society was established on August 15th, 1962 and included Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT. Over the years the seminary continued to grow and expand. It currently offers Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Master of Divinity degrees. Since its establishment, Holy Apostles Seminary has help provided the Catholic Church many priests for the United States and numerous other countries.
Currently the members of the Society assigned to Cromwell live in two houses, St. Jude’s and St. Mark’s. The priests and brothers serve as administrators, instructors, spiritual directors, and staff members at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. Cromwell is also the headquarters of the Provincial Animator, hosts the house of formation, and provides a place of residence for some of our elderly priests.
A complete history of the founding and growth of Holy Apostles Seminary and College was written by Father Robert Anello, MSA, Ph.D. on Google books titled The “Hand of God” at Work in Adult Catholic Priestly Formation .