Society of Saint Edmund


Society of Saint Edmund

The Society of Saint Edmund is a religious congregation of the Catholic Church founded in 1843, in Pontigny, France by Rev. Jean Baptiste Muard. They adhere to vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. The order is named after Saint Edmund.

The Society was formed to keep St. Edmund's memory and life alive through faithful service, for the work of popular missions. The members also devote themselves to parochial work, to the education of youth in seminaries and colleges, to the direction of pious associations, and to foreign missions.

Members of the Society, based in Pontigny, fled to the United States in 1889 after widespread anticlericalism seized France. The Society of St. Edmund settled in Winooski Park, Vermont, and established Saint Michael's College in 1904 where the deeds and values of St. Edmund's life continue through fulfillment of the College's mission. The original motherhouse is at Pontigny, but since the expulsion of the religious orders the superior general resided at Hitchin, England.

In the early 20th century, the congregation had two houses in the United States: a missionary house and apostolic school at Swanton, Vermont, for the training of young men who wish to study for the priesthood and the religious life; and a college at Colchester, Vermont, with 12 fathers, 8 scholastics, and 100 pupils. St. Michael's College has since expanded to 2,000 undergraduates and 650 graduate students.

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