Archives - Selma and Southern Missions

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History

The largest single collection in the archives is the Edmundite Southern House records.  This collection includes the records from the work of the Society of Saint Edmund in the Southern United States.  The Society of Saint Edmund is a clerical religious congregation of the Roman Catholic Church founded in France in 1843.  They first settled in America in 1891, and moved their general administrative offices to Vermont in the 1930’s.  Soon after, the Society began to seek ways in which it could meet the call of the church to serve the “Negro and Indian populations of North America.” In January 1937, Bishop Thomas Toolen of Mobile (AL) invited the Society to “establish a mission among the colored population in Selma.” The Society responded quickly. By July 1937, three Edmundites were serving in Selma. Over the years, the work of the Edmundites expanded to include:

 More recently, the Edmundites have sponsored learning centers, health clinics, nutrition centers, and other social service organizations in Dallas, Wilcox, Monroe, and Lowndes Counties in Alabama, and have maintained parishes and a school in Louisiana.

 The Society members were often the only whites regularly engaging with the African American population in their chosen locations. As the civil rights movement took hold, the Edmundites had a unique role, especially as their institutions were an established part of the social fabric of the community. Members of the Society were eyewitnesses to events integral to twentieth century America. Other members of the Society were deeply involved in the civil rights movement.

 Collections of Note

 Edmundite Publications  (Available in the Archives)

 Selected Books

 DVD

 Sample Searches

African American Catholics

Catholic Church Alabama

Catholic Church North Carolina

Civil Rights Alabama

Civil Rights North Carolina