The Society of the Holy Cross (SSC) was founded in London in 1855 by a small group of Anglo-Catholic priests led by Father Charles Lowder.
At a time when the Catholic Revival in the Church of England was threatened by persecution and misunderstanding, these priests came together for support, mutual prayer and encouragement. Fr Lowder spelled out the objects of SSC:
"To defend and strengthen the spiritual life of the clergy, to defend the faith of the Church, and to carry on and aid Mission work both at home and abroad".
The members of this society, meeting together as they did in prayer and conference, were deeply impressed with the evils existing in the Church, and saw also, in the remedies adopted by St Vincent de Paul, the hope of lessening them. (Click here for more about St Vincent de Paul.)
The Society has now spread throughout the world and is organised in autonomous Provinces under Provincial Masters elected by their Brethren. Within each Province are various Regions headed by Regional Vicars, and the work of the Society at local level is carried forward in Chapters led by their Local Vicars.