Paulist Fathers, American society of Roman Catholic priests, officially named the Society of Missionary Priests of St. Paul the Apostle (Latin abbr., C.S.P.). It was founded (1858) by Isaac Hecker, who envisioned a group of priests who would work for the conversion of Americans in ways appropriate to American life. The community has remained very small, and all its activities besides preaching are specialized. The Paulists engage in printing, mainly of pamphlets; have founded radio programs; and have built an excellent choir. Their monthly, the Catholic World, founded by Father Hecker, was one of the first serious U.S. Catholic journals. The rule of the Paulist Fathers is based on that of the Redemptorists.
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