St Joseph's SMA House, Wilton is one of the two SMA Houses in Cork City.
The SMA purchased Wilton in 1888 from Mr James O'Connor. The property then was made up of a delapidated "country residence" and 72 acres of farmland. Fr Joseph Zimmermann SMA, then Superior of SMA in Ireland paid £1,000 for the house and lands to use as an "Apostolic school". An apostlic school was a secondary school intended to give the necessary academic education to boys wanting to go on for the priesthood or religious life, but whos parents were financially unable to give them places in the few secondary schools that existed. Many dioceses had similar schools known as Diocesan Colleges.
In 1897 St Joseph's Church was built and opened, replacing a temporary chapel nearby that until then was used by the students. Adjacent to the Church is the SMA Community Cemetery in which most SMA members who die or have died in Ireland are buried. In 1982 St Joseph's Church was erected into a parish of the Diocese of Cork & Ross.
The Apostolic school continued for nearly 70 years. Subsequently the house became a residence for SMA priests and students attending University College, Cork. When SMA House, Maynooth was opened in 1970, the house was used for SMA aspirants for their Spiritual Year Programme.
Wilton today is used for:
- Fundraising for SMA through
promoting Mission Association Cards
promoting Novenas of Prayer
- Mission Animation
- Residence for retired SMA priests.
- Residence for SMA priests assigned to St Joseph's SMA Parish
African Missions, Wilton, Cork, T12 KR23
Community Leader: Fr John O'Keeffe SMA
Vice Leader & Bursar: Fr Jarlath Walsh SMA
Office Director: Fr Dan Cashman SMA
Parish Priest: Fr Michael O'Leary SMA
Assistant Priest: Fr Colum O'Shea SMA