This is a society of lay people founded by Mrs.Taaffe in 1895. The Society fosters vocations to the priesthood and religious life by prayer and helps financially in the education of students for the priesthood.
The Society works through branches. A group of people in a parish form a branch with the approval of the Parish Priest. They meet monthly to pray and organise the activities of the Society in their community.
Students are supported spiritually in following the call of the Lord by the prayers of the members. They are assisted financially from the members contributions. Financial help are needed by students towards the cost of seminary education and students expenses. Because of other demands on their means, some families can make only a small contribution or none at all. In such cases the Society adopts the student and helps to finance his education for the priesthood.
Students in all Irish dioceses, who are eligible for assistance, and who are recommended by a Board of Priests appointed by the four Archbishops in Ireland are helped by the Society.
As well as Irish students, the Society assists students for the priesthood in many other countries where the need exists, for instance in Asia, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Philipines and Sri Lanka. In America—Brazil. In Africa—Camenoon, Central African Republic, Ethiopia Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, The Republic of South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The task of fostering religious vocations devolves on 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.
You can help the Society by coming along to the meeting of the Claregalway Branch of the Society which is held on the second Friday of each month in the SMA House at 8pm. Next meeting Friday January 9th at 8pm.