Profile John Haverty

Fr John Haverty SMA


For 42 years Johnny Haverty has been on assignment in Kaduna, Nigeria and has become one of the longest serving SMA missionaries in that territory.

His missionary vocation was largely influenced by the prayer-life of his family where a prayer for the missions was one of the trimmings to the family Rosary. This helped to create inside me an abiding desire to do something for the Third World, he says. He came to join the SMA through contact with Fr Michael Cummins SMA who made a deep impression with his austere, bronze looks and penetrating words.

What sustains John in his missionary work is the nagging feeling that there is something wrong with our world regarding the uneven distribution of hardship and luxury between the developing and the western world.

Spreading the Good News of salvation and contributing to human development helps to level the playing field, he says.

In his missionary work, Johnny ministers in quite an extensive area in the southern part of Kaduna and covers much of his parish by motorbike because of the poor condition of the rural roads. A typical day would involve an early morning one-hour ride to an outstation to visit a small village congregation where he would celebrate Mass, administer baptism and perform marriage ceremonies when necessary. Back in the main station of the parish by mid-morning he would pay a routine visit to the central Primary School and the Secondary School. Contacts with the head-teachers and other staff is important. In the evening time he finds time to visit the homes of the parishioners and to spend time listening to their stories and absorbing the folklore of the local community.

Would you like to join Fr John?
Would you like to hear more of the life stories of peoples in Africa?

Why not contact the SMA Vocations Director?



1936: Born at Craughwell, Co Galway

1954-1961: Studies with SMA: Galway, Wilton and Dromantine

1961: Permanent member of SMA

1961: Ordination

1962 to date: Archdiocese of Kaduna, Nigeria.

Fr John Haverty SMA
St John’s Catholic Church
P O Box 116
Kaduna State

e-mail: [email protected]

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