Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Thursday, September 14, 2006

S.S.C. – Society of the Holy Cross


The SSC is An order for priests in the Anglican Communion, of which I and my assistant Fr. Bedford are members. So are 3 other priests of the Diocese of Michigan. Below is the 'teaching note' for this Sunday about the SSC
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SSC stands for Societas Sanctae Crucis - the Society of the Holy Cross. The Society was founded in London in 1855 by a small group of priests led by Father Charles Lowder. 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 Society has now spread throughout the world and is organised in autonomous Provinces under Provincial Masters elected by their Brethren. Priests of the Society live under a common Rule and meet together in their local SSC Chapters every month or two for prayer, Mass and some kind of study or conversation. Presiding over the Society worldwide is a Master-General who has a special responsibility to ensure an on-going fidelity among the Brethren to the spirit of the Society.

SSC is not a devotional guild, but takes its stance upon a shared vision of ‘a disciplined priestly life fashioned after a definite spiritual rule.’ It is this Rule of Life which unites the Brethren in their various priestly ministries and lives. They are required to ‘consider their obligation to the Society as a close spiritual bond...which takes precedence to that of any other voluntary society.’ This obligation includes a commitment to attend local SSC Chapter meetings and annual Regional and Provincial Synods. The life of the Society is experienced primarily through the local Chapter, and attendance at Chapter is of obligation unless prevented by genuine pastoral duties.

Priests of the Society can be recognized by the small gold lapel cross that they generally wear. On it is inscribed the motto of the Society - in hoc signo vinces - in this sign, conquer!