Sacred Hearts appoint first lay vocations director

Sean Halpin

Sean Halpin

Shane Halpin has been appointed to the role of Vocations and Mission Promoter for the Ireland-England province of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts in Dublin.  The Congregation of priests and sisters, which although relatively small in Ireland, has over 2000 members in 35 countries throughout the world.  The Congregation which was founded in 1800 in France has recently celebrated its first canonisation - that of Fr Damien the leper priest of Molokai, in Rome last month.

Shane, who is the first lay-person to undertake this role within the province, is a former public relations consultant and a Masters graduate in pastoral ministry from All Hallows College in Dublin.  He brings with him a unique blend of experience which the congregation hopes will help put them on the map with regard to their activities in Ireland and the UK..

Commenting on the appointment, the provincial Fr Michael Ruddy SSCC said:  “Never has it been more important to stand up and be counted than it is in our Church today. Our charism is about reaching out in love and compassion to the world.  We are very excited about the prospects of trying new ideas and engaging creatively with the wider community.”

In Ireland, the community of the Sacred Hearts are active in parish work in Clondalkin (Sruleen Parish), have a provincial and community house in Ranelagh, and a community house near Cootehill with a pastoral outreach to the neighbouring counties of Cavan and Monaghan. They are also very involved in supporting missionary activities overseas and are involved in school chaplaincy.  Dr Brendan Comiskey is a well-known member of the congregation in Ireland.

Sacred Hearts community member, Fr Damien was considered to be the Mother Theresa of his time and spent over 16 years of his life selflessly caring for over 8000 leprosy patients banished to the leprosy colony of Molokai in the Hawaiian Islands.  Eventually he succumbed to the illness himself and died in 1889 on Molokai. He was canonised by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome on October 11th this year.

For more information on the Sacred Hearts Congregation see:  www.sacredhearts.ie