Wednesday, 26th November 2014
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart

Who we are

Father Chevalier saw the Sacred Heart of Jesus as the meeting place between God and mankind.  Indeed, it is from Jesus’ heart that God’s love is lavished upon men and women; it is in Jesus’ heart that humanity is reconciled to God. Jesus invites us to a “spirituality of the heart” in imitation of his own surrender, obedience, courage, fidelity and love. It is my fervent hope that you, dear Brothers, will continue to draw inspiration and strength from this spirituality and from your Founder’s charism as you fulfil your vocation in the Church and in the world. “You have not only a glorious history to remember and to recount, but also a great history still to be accomplished! Look to the future, where the Spirit is sending you in order to do even greater things” (Vita Consecrata, 110).
Pope John Paul II
1st September 2004, on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the MSC Congregation

Missionaries of God’s love

We are called the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The initials MSC are taken from our name in Latin, Missionarii Sacratissimi Cordis, and it is by this abbreviation that we are perhaps best known.

Our Congregation was founded by a young French priest, Jules Chevalier.  During his seminary training he had come to a profound and life-changing experience of God’s love.  In 1854, at thirty years of age, he gathered a small group of like-minded priests together to form the first community of MSCs under the protection of Mary, to whom he gave the title “Our Lady of the Sacred Heart”.

Making that love real

The concern of that small, early group of MSC was global, but they began by reading the signs of the times locally, in an increasingly secularised France. Convinced that God’s love was the remedy to the ills of the age, they set about restoring the vitality of the faith in the rural and religiously indifferent town of Issoudun, 250 Km south of Paris.
Due to circumstances of religious persecution and the necessity to flee from France a period of great difficulty became the opportunity to expand the mission further afield.  Over 150 years after our foundation in Issoudun we are now present in 54 countries and number 2000 priests and brothers.

Since we were never founded for a specific work or apostolate our ministries are varied, but all are trying to respond to the signs of the times, leading people to a deeper experience of God’s love for them and making that love real in the concrete circumstances of their lives.

The Irish Province

We live as brothers, mostly in community, sharing our lives, our prayer and our mission. The diversity of the ministries we are engaged in testifies to the wide spectrum of need we discern around us as well as to the breadth of the gifts of our members.

You can read much more about the story of our establishment in Ireland and England, the development of our missions and ministries, and get a flavour of how we are living out our vocation today by exploring the other pages of this site.