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
Saturday of the Sixth week of Easter
"On that day you will ask in my name"
Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (467-532), Bishop in North Africa
Letter 14,36 ; CCL 91, 429
At the end of our prayers we say: "Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord" and not "Through the Holy Spirit". This practice of the universal Church is not without reason. At its root lies the mystery according to which Jesus Christ is the mediator between God and humanity (1 Tim 2:5), a priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek, he who, with his own blood, entered into the Holy of holies, not that which was only a copy but into heaven itself where he is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us (Heb 6:20; 9:24).
It was in his consideration of Christ's priesthood that the apostle said: "Through him let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name" (Heb 13:15). It is through him that we offer the sacrifice of praise and prayer because it is his death that reconciled us while we were still enemies (Rom 5:10). He willed to offer himself in sacrifice for our sakes and, since then, it is through him that our offerings can be acceptable in God's sight. This is why Saint Peter warns us in these words: "Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Pt 2:5). This is the reason why we say to God the Father: "Through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord".