The Spiritan Tradition and History
The history of the Spiritans over three centuries is the story of thousands of priests, brothers and lay persons who have forgone society's aspirations to power, prestige, and wealth. Rather, they made -- and continue to make -- profound sacrifices to minister to the poor and disadvantaged. They have crossed economic, social, cultural, and racial and ethnic boundaries as they proclaim the Good News in diverse parts of the world. The Spiritans remain at the forefront of international missionary orders.
The Congregation began in France in 1703 and eventually expanded throughout the world, with special focus on the African continent. Their North American presence spans the entire country, with special focus on African-American and Hispanic parishes. Duquesne University, a nationally recognized Catholic university located in Pittsburgh, was founded by Spiritans for children of the immigrant poor, and today attracts students from around the world.