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

Monday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

"She has offered her whole livelihood"

Saint Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916), hermit and missionary in the Sahara

Meditations on passages of the Holy Gospels referring to fifteen of the virtues, Nazareth 1897-98 ; no.263

How divinely good you are, O my God! If you had called the rich first of all, then the poor would not have dared draw near you. They would have thought they had to stand aside because of their poverty and would have watched you from a distance, letting the rich come around you. But you have called everyone to yourself, everyone: the poor, because you show them by this that, to the end of time, they are the first called, the chosen ones, the privileged; the rich because, on the one hand, they aren't shy and, on the other, because it is up to them to become as poor as the poorest. If they wish, if they desire to become like you, if they are afraid of their wealth keeping them apart from you, they can in an instant become perfectly poor.

How good you are! How rightly you have chosen the best way for calling around you in a single move all your children, without exception! And what balm you have applied to the hearts of the poor, the little ones, the despised of this world until the end of time, showing them from the day of your birth that they are your chosen ones, your preferred ones, the first to be called – called around you who wanted to become one of them and, from your cradle and all your life long, surrounded by them.