Lay Association and Formation

Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts

The Associates of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts are lay men and women who desire to follow Christ in the footsteps of St Damien 'the leper priest of Molokai' while following the example of the Congregation’s inspirational founders, Pierre Coudrin and Henriette Aymer. The two founders of the Congregation were fearless in their efforts to defend the faith during the French revolution.

The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts began the Associate programme in 2000 for lay men and women who are attracted to the lifestyle and works of the Congregation. Each of the Associates has come to know the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts through their historical involvement with the Congregation and at events such as parish missions, retreats, and other activities involving the priests, brothers and sisters. Every associate has been drawn to support the life and mission of the SS.CC especially through their life of prayer and spiritual growth.

The lay associates are active in Ireland and England and new members are always welcome. More information is available by contacting the respective representatives on the contact page.

UK Branch of the Lay Associates

The Lay Association of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts is a group of lay people from various walks of life who wish to share in the Mission and Charism of the Congregation. In England at this current time there are approximately 30 committed Lay Associates with a further group of about 6 in formation who would hope to make a formal commitment to the Congregation in the months and years ahead.

The association is established in three specific areas of England - Daventry, Bedford and Acton in London. Each local area meets once a month to share time together in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, sharing on spiritual matters in general and growing in the building of community. As a national group we meet together on about four occasions a year and spend time together on a residential retreat each year.

Each year we join with our Religious Brothers and Sisters and Irish Lay members of the Congregation at our Annual Assembly, generally held in Dublin.

As Lay Members of the Congregation our desire is to bring the charism of the Congregation into the everyday aspects of our daily lives. Our homes and relationships, our work place, times of leisure and relaxation and to our local communities. Many of our members engage in various ministries within their parishes and communities generally. Our Mission Statement say’s:-

Inspired by the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary we want to bring Gods Compassionate Love to those we meet, particularly those on the margins of society.

If you would like to know more about the Lay Association of the Congregation please make contact via the email address given within this website.


Lay Associates England Branch

Irish Branch of the Lay Associates

Yvonne Downey is the Coordinator for Lay Associates in Ireland.  In Ireland the lay associates are accompanied by Sr. Elizabeth Smith, sscc & Fr. Michael Foley, sscc.

How do we live the Charism of the SS.CC. in our daily lives?

Our understanding of the Charism is to make "human the face of God," we do this by showing His Love, His Compassion and His Mercy to the people we meet and the situations we find ourselves in, in our daily lives."

The following are some examples of how we do this:

This is where our first vocation lies. It is within the Family Unit that the first seeds of Christianity are sown. It is here that we learn to love and care for our families and those around us, and is from this rich soil that our Charism will take root and grow and spread.

lay_associates2All of our brothers and sisters are deeply involved in our own particular Parish: Sruleen, Cootehill and Clones. We are Readers and Ministers of the Eucharist; we serve on the Pastoral Council; we are involved with the Liturgy Group, and Prayer Groups, within each of our parishes. Our Adoration is done weekly, on both a parish level and a private SS.CC. level.
The love and respect in which we hold each other is so evident that we have been asked by some of the general public, as to who are we? This has also resulted in us being asked about our Lay Association.

Some of us are involved with Hospital Ministry as Eucharistic Ministers. On occasions, they have been called upon to enter infectious wards, in doing so, and they administer God's love and compassion by way of Eucharist and prayer.

Senior Citizens:
Others have chosen to make the Elderly in our areas our point of contact. Just taking the time to be with them, chatting with them and being interested in what is happening in their lives, and especially, asking for advice, this leaves them feeling involved and useful and being a part of our community again. One of us is a volunteer member in the Local Citizens Information Centre and this has proven to be of immense help to us in this area. We have distributed our personal phone numbers just in case they need us at other times.

Again, we have a few of our members involved with the Youth in our Parish. This work is hard and tedious and very stressful most of the time, but they continue, again by simply showing God's love to these young people, by listening to them, caring for them, showing respect and by being compassionate in our responses to their individual life stories.

We would be more specifically involved in areas where there would be bereavement in a family. We have been asked to attend the family and prayer with them, at such times we are seen to be as "Religious," a stopgap if you will, between the priests and the family.

We may not have been seen in the foreground but we are always there nonetheless. We have been asked to help with the preparation of the Funeral Mass, etc. At this time of great sorrow, it is most important for us to let the families know that God is very close to them and that it is OK NOT TO BE OK, that God loved us long before we ever loved Him, and that at these sad times, He is but a breath away. Others have simply chosen to pray: pray for us, for the Brothers and Sisters of the Congregation (especially those on Mission) and for our world in general. This prayer time is in addition to our weekly time before the Blessed Sacrament, and is paramount to the success of our Association. At all times we are conscious that as SS.CC. Lay Associates, God's love and compassion are the tools by which we live and work.