SMA House, Claregalway, Co Galway,
The presence of the SMA in Ireland goes back to 1876 when the then SMA Superior General, Fr Augustin Planque, sent Fr James O’Haire (a priest working with Irish immigrants in South Africa) to recruit English-speaking priests from Ireland to join the Society. In 1878 Fr Francis Devoucoux SMA came to Mayfield, Cork to take charge of the Apostolic school founded by Fr O’Haire.
In 1994 the SMA House in Claregalway was completed, to serve as a Promotion and Mission animation centre for the west of Ireland. It also serves as a retirement house for some of our priests. There are 12 SMA priests in residence.
Community Leader and Bursar: Fr Eamonn Finnegan SMA
The different departments in Claregalway are:
Family Vocations Crusade (FVC) – Fr Frank McGrath SMA – which fundraises to pay for the education of our 250+ seminarians from Africa, India, Philippines and Poland.
Missionary Association Cards (MAC) – Fr Eamonn Finnegan SMA – cards for different occasions (Birthdays, Exams, Weddings, Get Well, Bereavement etc)
Mission Boxes – Fr Tom Fenlon SMA and a team of dedicated lay people who assist in the collecting of boxes from the different shops all over the Province.
The west of Ireland has been a fruitful seedbed for SMA and OLA vocations. Our photo, shows the present Claregalway Community Leader, Fr Eamonn Finnegan with Sr Eileen Cummins (former OLA Superior General) from Craughwell, Co Galway and Sr Mary Crowley OLA (Cork). The wider Craughwell area has given nearly a dozen missionaries to the OLA and SMA down the years.