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Society of the Catholic Apostolate
The Pallottines
The seal of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate
MottoLatin: Caritas Christi urget nos
English: The love of Christ impels us
Formation4 April 1835; 183 years ago (1835-04-04)
TypeRoman Catholic Institute of Apostolic Life
HeadquartersPiazza San Vincenzo Pallotti, 204
Rome, Italy
41°53′35″N 12°28′17″E / 41.89306°N 12.47139°E / 41.89306; 12.47139Coordinates: 41°53′35″N 12°28′17″E / 41.89306°N 12.47139°E / 41.89306; 12.47139
1,648 priests, 2,379 brothers (2010)
Rector General
Jacob Nampudakam

The Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Latin: Societas Apostolatus Catholici, abbreviated SAC), better known as the Pallottines, are a Society of Apostolic Life within the Roman Catholic Church, founded in 1835 by the Roman priest Saint Vincent Pallotti. Pallottines are part of the Union of Catholic Apostolate and are present in 45 countries on six continents. The Pallottines administer one of the largest churches in the world, the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro in Côte d'Ivoire.


Saint Vincent Pallotti was born in Rome in 1795. Together with a group of associates and collaborators, he developed in the city of Rome a large structure of apostolic activity, while striving to unite and co-ordinate such activity. From this effort arose the idea of founding a new institution, that is, “the Union of Catholic Apostolate”, to unite all of his apostolic initiatives. Vincent Pallotti died on January 22, 1850, without having seen the full development of his work. His closest collaborators continued his mission, ensuring further development of the Society. Vincent Pallotti was beatified in 1950 and canonized in 1963 during the Second Vatican Council.[1]


The charism of the Pallottines is to assist all in finding and living their apostolic vocation in life. St. Vincent Pallotti believed that all are called to revive faith, rekindle charity, and be apostles. The Pallottines assist people in living these virtues.


Pallottine fathers

One example of their work was the Pallottine mission to Kamerun, established in 1890 in the German colony of Kamerun, today's Cameroon. From the late 1840s, when St. Vincent sent priests of the Society to St Mary Star Of The Sea, Hastings, England, to the present with the addition of Taiwan and the Philippines, the Pallottines have been expanding their missionary apostolate. The Union administers diverse schools such as: Bishop Eustace Preparatory School in Pennsauken, New Jersey; St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, Maryland (run by the Pallottine Missionary Sisters); and the St. Paulusheim Gymnasium in Bruchsal, Germany. The Pallottines also founded and direct the Catholic Apostolate Center in Washington, D.C., which develops programs to help strengthen the Society's mission.

The Society conducts parishes, schools, missions, clinics, retreat houses, all types of charitable works, and a scientific Institute for Catholic Church Statistics in Poland.

Irish Pallotines[edit]

The Irish Pallotine Province, now known as the Mother of Divine Love Province, came to Ireland in 1909. The Pallottine College in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, served as a seminary for the Irish Province with students also being trained in theology in the nearby St. Patrick's College, Thurles. The Irish Pallottines have served in England, Argentina, United States, Rome (Church of San Silvestro in Capite) and East Africa (Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania), as well as been entrusted with the running of two parishes, Corduff and Shankill, in the Archdiocese of Dublin. The provincial headquarters was in Argentina but moved to London in 1928, before moving to Dublin in 1978. As well as the Thurles College and Retreat Centre, the Headquarters and formation centre is in Dundrum, Dublin.[2] The Irish Pallottine Community Cemetery is at St. Mary's, Cabra, Thurles. The Irish Bishop Séamus Freeman, S.A.C., is a member of the Pallottine Order as was Bishop Patrick Winters, S.C.A. 1908 – 1994.

Provincials of Irish Pallotines[edit]

  • Rev. William Hanly S.A.C.
  • Rev. Patrick Dwyer S.A.C.
  • Rev. John Fitzpatrick S.A.C.
  • Rev. Eamonn Monson S.A.C.
  • Rev. Derry Murphy S.A.C.

Pallottine Martyrs[edit]

Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, SJ, later Pope Francis, opened the cause in Argentina for beatification—the first step towards sainthood—for five members of the Pallottine community. The candidates for beatification are three priests and two seminarians killed by the military dictatorship in Argentina in 1976: Alfredo Leaden, Alfredo Kelly, Peter Duffau and seminarians Salvador Barbeito and Emilio Barletti.[3]

Sex abuse in Australia[edit]

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse reports that 13.7% of the order's priests were accused of child abuse between 1950 and 2009.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Saint Vincent Pallotti", Societas Apostolatus Catholici
  2. ^ Pallottines Ireland Official Website
  3. ^ Sánchez Alvarado, Gretta (20 March 2013). "Francisco: 'El verdadero poder es el servicio'". El Naconal. Archived from the original on 21 March 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Child sex abuse royal commission: Data reveals extent of Catholic allegations". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 February 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ngoh, Victor Julius (1996): History of Cameroon Since 1800. Limbe: Presbook.
  • Gaynor, John S., SCA (1962): The Life of St. Vincent Pallotti. Cork, Ireland: Mercier Press.

External links[edit]