The Missionaries of St. Charles, also known as Scalabrinians, are a Roman Catholic Community of priests and brothers founded in 1887 by Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini. They share in the mission of the Church through their unique service to migrant and refugee peoples. Their concerns bring them in contact with the marginalized in society, as well as those in political authority and academia. They labor on the “grass roots” level with those who suffer the trauma of migration and on the level of government and scholarship to sensitize society to the needs of those displaced and uprooted.
Because of the large number of Italians coming to the shores of North America from the late nineteenth century and well into the twentieth century, the bishops of the United States ask the help of Blessed Scalabrini, then bishop of the northern city of Piacenza, to send his missionary priests and brothers to serve the newly arrived Italians into their dioceses. Among them was also the bishop of Providence who received the first missionaries in 1889, where they established Holy Ghost Church in Federal Hill. Other missionaries followed, and among the churches they established in the Diocese of Providence was St. Rocco in Thornton in 1903.
The latest statistics, according to the 2010 Annuario Scalabrinaino, number the religious community as having 699 members, serving in 31 countries and divided into 9 provinces.