Association of the Holy Childhood
A children's association for the benefit of foreign missions, founded, 1843, by Charles de Forbin-Janson, Bishop of Nancy, France.
Its chief ends are: to draw young children near to the Infant Jesus that they may practise Christian charity and contribute to the salvation of pagan children; to procure baptism for these infidels, and educate them to spread Christianity among their countrymen.
Children may be enrolled in this association immediately after Baptism, by contributing one cent monthly, and reciting a Hail Mary daily, for the poor pagans.
The parish priest is the regular director of the work in his own parish; the affairs of the association are managed by an international council at Paris, consisting of 15 priests and as many laymen.
Bishop Forbin-Janson traveled and lectured in France, Belgium, and England, in the interests of this association, and in 1846 it was introduced into New Orleans and Baltimore, from which places it spread to other cities in the United States and Canada.
In 1890 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, became the central bureau of the association in America, and in 1893 the entire work was entrusted to the Holy Ghost Fathers.
At present the association is known throughout Austria, Asia, Africa, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Ireland, Malta, Norway, Oceania, Portugal, South America, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States.
The "Annals of the Holy Childhood" is issued bimonthly in 7 languages.
New Catholic Dictionary