Societas Sanctae Crucis

The Society of the Holy Cross (SSC from the Latin Societas Sanctae Crucis). We are a congregation of priests in the Anglican Church who live and minister under a Common Rule of Life.

There are over 1,000 members around the world, mainly in the UK and North America. Our members work in parishes, missions, chaplaincies, schools and other areas of pastoral ministry. They are committed to witnessing to the Cross of Christ by their lives and ministry. The Society has a number of members here in Australasia.

The Society of the Holy Cross (SSC) was founded in London in 1855 by a small group of Anglo-Catholic priests led by Father Charles Lowder.

At a time when the Catholic Revival in the Church of England was threatened by persecution and misunderstanding. A group of priests came together for support, mutual prayer and encouragement. Fr Lowder spelled out the objects of SSC: "To defend and strengthen the spiritual life of the clergy, to defend the faith of the Church, and to carry on and aid Mission work both at home and abroad".

The members of this society, meeting together in prayer and conference, were deeply impressed with the evils existing in the Church, and saw also, in the remedies adopted by St Vincent de Paul, the hope of lessening them.

Society of the Holy Cross

Priests of the Society live under a common Rule of Life, and meet together in their local SSC Chapters every month or two for prayer, Mass, and some kind of study or conversation. Presiding over the Society worldwide is a Master-General who has a special responsibility to ensure an on-going fidelity among the Brethren to the spirit of the Society.

SSC is not a devotional guild, but takes its stance upon a shared vision of : “a disciplined priestly life fashioned after a definite spiritual rule". This Rule of Life unites the Brethren in our various priestly ministries and lives. We are required to: ‘consider our obligation to the Society as a close spiritual bond - and takes precedence to that of any other voluntary society.’

This obligation includes a commitment to attend local SSC Chapter meetings and annual Regional and Provincial Synods. The life of the Society is experienced primarily through the local Chapter. Attendance at Chapter is of obligation unless prevented by genuine pastoral duties.

Priests of the Society are recognized by the small gold lapel cross they generally wear. On it is inscribed the motto of the Society - in hoc signo vinces - in this sign, conquer!

In Hoc Signo Vinces

In this Sign Conquer

Tuesday of the Twenty-sixth week in Ordinary Time

There is no failure for God

Venerable Madeleine Delbrêl (1904-1964), missionary to the down-and-outs

From 'The Joy of Believing' chapter A vocation for God among men

Where we follow Jesus Christ, we glorify God by calling him God, but at the same time, it is inevitable, we call in him everyone. To this call, it may be that none will answer ... never. We could experience a sense of failure. But, for whoever is God's worker, all his tasks may seem to fail, the work that encompasses these tasks does not fail, because it is the work of God: no failure is possible for God.

What does belong to us that can not fail is the cross, in which we "complete the sufferings of Christ", according to St Paul. It is a question of loving; But not as an artist, without error, without defect: it is necessary to "love the Lord with all your force" (cf. LC 10,27). After "all our force", we may be collapsed, defeated, revolted without any understanding : there still will be no failure for redemption, though no doubt we will not understand it .

Nothing can assure us that we are living well, because we are weighing with the weights of this world. A hundred times, it will seem to us to have failed, collapsed, and to have passed by everything that other men call youth, or maturity. But when eternal life will open large for us, when we die, before seeing God, we will not be sure of our righteousness, but rather of the mercy of God.