Holy Childhood Society

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The Holy Childhood Society in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish of Albion, New York was established on June 14, 1914. The official name of the society as founded within the parish was the "Society of the Infant Jesus" and is recognized worldwide as the "Association of the Holy Childhood."

As recorded by the Catholic Encyclopedia, the society serves as: "An association for the benefit of foreign missions. Twenty years after the foundation of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith (1843) Charles de Forbin-Janson, Bishop of Nancy, France, establised the Society of the Holy Childhood (Association de la Sainte Enfance). Its end is twofold: First, to rally around the Infant Jesus our little Christian children from their tender years, so that with increasing age and strength, and in imitation of Jesus their Master, they may practice true Christian charity with a view to their own perfection; second, that by the practice of charity and enduring liberality those same little Christian children may co-operate in saving from death and sin the many thousands of children that in pagan countries like China are neglected by their parents and cast away to die unbaptized. The further object of the association is to procure baptism for those abandoned little ones, and, should they live, to make of them craftsmen, teachers, doctors, or priests, who in turn will spread the blessings of the Christian religion amongst their countrymen."

Furthermore, "Children may become members of the association immediately after baptism, and may continue in membership for the remainder of their lives.

The Society of the Holy Childhood (or Infant Jesus as it was called) had different stipulations which are outlined as follows:

  1. Every child who has made their First Holy Communion may become a member of the Society of the Infant Jesus, and can belong up to the age of 16 years. They should then join another church society (an adult group).
  2. If a child paying 5 cents per month dies, their family is entitled to $25.00 for the funeral.
  3. The entire society will attend the funeral.
  4. All members of the society go to Confession and Holy Communion once a month.
  5. Meetings to be held once a month, including: 1.) Receive taxes (collect 5 cents from each member), 2.) Prayers - three Our Father's, three Hail Mary's, three Glory Be's, Litany of the Infant Jesus (of Prague), 3.) education/learning for the children, 4.) Closing prayer.
  6. 1 cent of every 5 cents collected should be duly sent to Krakow for purposes of the Society of the Infant Jesus.

The Holy Childhood Society existed from approximately 1914 to 1921, however a roster of boys exists for 1924/5 but there is no annual report to indicate whether or not the society was reestablished in those years. The reports do indicate that the society ceased to exist after 1920/1 and had not been established prior to 1914.

During the existance of the society, only one member died, Edward Celmer (in 1920) and his family was given $25.00 to help pay for his funeral. Edward was also the first person to be buried in the New St. Joseph's Cemetery on East Avenue in Albion.

Boys Roster | Girls Roster | Expenses