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New Provincial for Congregation of Sacred Hearts

Fr Derek Laverty SSCC

Fr Derek Laverty SSCC

Fr Derek Laverty SSCC (Ordained 1991)  has been appointed as the new provincial for the Ireland-England province of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts.  Fr Derek replaces Fr Michael Ruddy SSCC who has been in the position since 2004. Fr Derek is a well-known retreat giver and has held the position of Formation Director for the Congregation at its novitiate in Ealing, West London.  Born in Belfast, Fr Derek has spent most of his life in the UK where he was active in parish work in Bedford, Daventry and London.

The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts, represented by the abbreviation SSCC, after its Latin name Sacrorum Cordium, is a worldwide missionary order whose mission is to contemplate, live and proclaim God's love in the world. There are over 1500 in the Congregation made up priests, brothers and sisters and an increasing number of lay associate members in over 30 countries throughout the world.
Speaking after his appointment, Fr Derek spoke about his hopes for his tenure: "In the world and Church of today people are seeking reassurance, acceptance, forgiveness, tolerance and compassion - all of which are reflections of what we mean when we speak of God's love.  Even though we are a small Congregation, my hope is we can still make a difference to the lives of the people we meet and also be an attractive option to those women and men who are considering a vocation to the religious life."
In Ireland, the community are involved in parish work in west Dublin, chaplaincy, pastoral care and both provincial and community houses are based in Ranelagh near Dublin city centre.  The priests and brothers also have a house near Cootehill with a pastoral outreach to the neighbouring counties of Cavan and Monaghan. This community is very involved in the development of the Damien Centre youth initiative and in supporting missionary activities overseas.  Bishop Patrick Lynch of Southwark and retired Bishop Brendan Comiskey are both well-known members of the Congregation.
Perhaps the best known member of the Congregation is Fr Damien de Veuster SSCC of Molokai also known as the ‘leper priest’. He 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 2009.