The contact person for St. Joseph’s Young Priests’ Society is John Rooney Chairperson and can be contacted on 083 843 1779.
The task of fostering vocations depends on the whole Christian community. By being involved in St Joseph’s Young Priests’ Society we can help in this important work and also support our priests.
St Joseph’s Young Priests’ Society was founded in 1895 by Mrs Olivia Taaffe, Corofin, Co. Galway.She perceived the need for groups of lay people to:(i) promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life through prayer (as Jesus asked)(ii) provide financial assistance to students for the priesthood(iii) promote the vocation of the laity by way of fostering a greater understanding and love of the Eucharist(iv) support members in being Christ’s presence in every aspect of life.
Today many such groups, known as branches, exist throughout Ireland. Some are parish based while others are associated with particular workplaces and professions. Members meet monthly to pray for vocations and to organise the activities of the Society in their community. For example, branch members organise public prayer meetings, vigils, seminars, retreats and fund-raising events.
All students for the priesthood whose families cannot make substantial contributions to the cost of their education can apply to the Society for assistance and over the years the Society has helped students from every Irish diocese, Great Britain, Asia, America and Africa. Here in Ireland students for the priesthood are not eligible for third level grants.
Origins & Foundation
At the end of the nineteenth century, Olivia Mary Taff became interested in the spiritual and temporal welfare of seminarians in France and as a result, in 1895, she initiated the organisation, known in Ireland as, ‘The St Joseph’s Young Priests’ Society’.
Most people know that the main aim of the Society is to foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and to assist seminarians spiritually as well as financially. But there are other, perhaps lesser-known aims, that are just as important, such as: promoting a greater appreciation of the role of priesthood; fostering a deeper understanding of the Mass; promoting the vocation of the laity in the Church; and helping members of the society to be Christ’s presence in every aspect of life;
Requirements for Membership Committed members of each branch volunteered to act as promoters and invited others to join the Society, while each member promised to pray each day for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and to contribute a nominal sum of 50p per month.
These same requirements for joining the Society remain in place today and the funds raised go to support seminarians across the country and across the continent. Members are very much encouraged to attend the monthly branch meeting, where they can become more familiar with the working of the Society.
The Society aims to develop and support groups at parish level, which will allow people to pray and reflect on the word of God, while the Society also promotes Eucharistic Adoration, retreats and pilgrimages.
Responding to vocation has a lot to do with the way we listen. Like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, one can choose to ignore, hide, or run away from reality. But as Christ joined them and asked them to face it, the two disciples responded by listening to him. The call of God today is no different from the past, and His presence in our lives, is as active as ever, if only we listened and acted accordingly.
The mission statement of the Society, formulated in its centenary year, reflects this: “We believe, that at this critical time, our Society is called to a renewal of faith, to proclaim boldly the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to work in partnership towards creating a greater understanding of Christ’s call, ‘Come follow me.’”
You Can Help
In recent times, candidates for the priesthood in Ireland have not volunteered in such large numbers as previously. This fact puts into perspective the necessity of boosting membership in this Jubilee Year.
Now more than ever we need more people invoking God’s aid for priests and religious so by becoming a member of St Joseph’s Society, you can play your part in supporting your Church and the priests, both of the present and of the future. If you would like further information contact your local St Joseph’s Young Priests’ Branch or your local priest/religious for further information.
The Society is important as we need priests to celebrate the Sacraments. There is a shortage of priests, and we must look to the future of our children and grandchildren. We have the responsibility to hand on the Faith – to hand on a love and understanding of the Eucharist.
St Joseph’s Young Priests’ Society
St Joseph’s Young Priests’ Society is an organisation of committed lay people who support Seminarians and priests through prayer and financially.
Q – What is St Joseph’s Young Priests’ Society? A – It is a society of lay people, which has been approved by the Irish Episcopal Conference. The Society’s work was founded by Mrs Olivia Taaffe in 1895.
Q – What is the purpose of the Society? A – The purpose of the Society is twofold: 1 – To foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and to assist financially in the education of students for the priesthood. 2 – To promote the vocation of the laity, to foster a greater understanding and love of the Holy Eucharist, and to help members to be Christ’s presence in every aspect of life.
Q – How does the Society work? A – The Society works through branches. A group of committed people in a parish form a branch with the approval of the parish priest. They elect officers, meet monthly to pray and organise the activities of the Society in their community. A branch may also be formed by people in their workplace or profession
Q- What are the Society’s activities? A – The Society encourages regular prayer for vocations. It arranges prayer meetings, vigils, pilgrimages, seminars and retreats, through these and through the witness of their Christian living, members can live their commitment and responsibility as lay people in the Church.
Q – Why is the work of the Society so important? A – The work of fostering religious vocations belongs to the entire Christian community. Taking part in the work of the Society is one way in which lay people can respond to the task. They look to the future and to their children’s future. They want to hand on their faith and their love of the Mass, for which priests will be needed.
Q – Why is financial help needed for student? A – Few families can make a substantial contribution to the cost of seminary education and the expenses of a student. Because of other demands on their means, some families can only make a small contribution or none at all. In such cases, the Society adopts the student and helps to finance his education for the priesthood.
Q – What students are helped by the Society? A – The Society provides assistance relating to: 1 – Students for the priesthood for ministry in Ireland who qualify for assistance and who are recommended by a Board of Priests appointed by the four archbishops of Ireland. 2 – Students for the priesthood where the need exists throughout the world. At present, students are assisted in Ireland as well as the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia, Ukraine, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka.
Q – What is the Society’s status? A – The Society is a registered charity and has been since the foundation of the State in 1922. Reg. N° CHY1508.
Q – How are the students helped by the Society? A – They are supported spiritually in following the all of the Lord by the prayers of the members. They are assisted financially by the Society from le members’ contributions.
Q – How can I help the work of the Society? A- By supporting the branch in your parish or at our work. Alternatively, by contacting the General Secretary of the Society at: St Joseph’s Young Priests’ Society 23, Merrion Square, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 676 2593 I Fax: 01 676 2549 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://stjosephsyoungpriestssociety.ie/ for more info.
The Branch meets on the second last Wednesday of every month, to which new members are most welcome.
St Joseph’s Young Priests’ Society exists to help student clerics on their journey to Priesthood. The Society fosters vocations to the priesthood and religious life. It assists students for the priesthood both financially and by prayer. It promotes the vocation of the laity and fosters a greater understanding and love of the Mass.
The Society holds prayer meetings for the vocations and arranges pilgrimages, Eucharistic adoration, vigils, seminars and retreats so that its members may give witness to Christian living.
The Society works through a branch group which is formed in the parish with the approval of the parish priest. Each branch meets monthly, to pray and to organise the Society’s activities in its community.
The Society is important, as we need priests to celebrate the Sacraments. At present, there is a shortage of priests. We must look to the future of our children and grandchildren. We have the responsibility to hand on the Faith – to hand on a love and understanding of the Eucharist.
The Society helps students for the priesthood from any diocese in the country who are recommended by a board of priests appointed by the four Archbishops in Ireland. We also help students throughout the world – where the need exists.
The Society helps seminarians both spiritually and financially.
Members & How To Help
The Holy Rose Branch currently has 13 members who meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 10.30 am in the Parish Pastoral Centre.
You can help the work of the Society by supporting the Maynooth Branch or alternatively by contacting the General Secretary of the Society at: St Joseph’s Young Priests’ Society, 23 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Telephone 01 676 2593.