St Joseph’s Young Priests Society meeting in St Mary’s Church, Urbleshanny on Monday 17th June after the 8pm Mass. The purposes of the society are to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life, to promote the vocation of the laity, to foster an understanding and love of the Mass and to assist financially in the education of students for the priesthood.

The Society would like to thank all those who contributed financially to its appeal during the year. A special thanks to Urbleshanny School for their extremely generous response. The local branch urgently requires new members to further the work of the society. Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month in Urbleshanny, immediately after the 8pm Mass. Perhaps you might consider coming along on the night. You will be very welcome.

Mass for the Sick will take place on Sunday July 7th at 7pm in St Mary’s Church, Urbleshanny.

Membership: St Joseph’s Young Priest’s Society is open to all lay people regardless of whether you attend meetings or not, provided – you undertake to pray daily for young Priests, Religious and Lay vocations and you support the Society’s role in the education of students for priesthood at least annually, by your membership fee.

A very good reason to join: All members and their intentions are remembered daily in dedicated Masses offered. Membership subscription: €12.00 per year. Good priests for the Church of the future need a good education. Membership fees and fundraising go towards the education of Irish seminarians primarily but also that of students for priesthood in the developing Church. New members will be heartily welcomed!


O Jesus, send labourers into your fields,
which are awaiting holy apostles,
saintly priests, heroic missionaries
nd dedicated sisters and brothers.
Enkindle in the hearts of men and women the spark of a vocation.
Grant that Christian families may desire to give your Church,
helpers in the work of tomorrow.  Amen.

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St Joseph’s Young Priests Society was started by Galway born Olivia Mary Taaffe. Her mother died shortly after her birth in 1832, resulting in her Grandmother and aunts raising her and her sister. They moved to Dublin when she was a child. She was brought up in a strong religious environment and received a private education, mainly from a French Governess. Due to this she was greatly influenced by the church in France and Italy while growing up. Over the years this French influence increased further, and she spent her early twenties finishing her education in Paris.

In France, she came across the procession of the Blessed Sacrament and was impressed by the widespread devotion in its honour. She also developed a great love for St. Joseph during her time here. In 1867 she married John Taaffe. During their marriage, Olivia and John had travelled throughout Europe. A priest at Maranville in France had founded a movement for friends of St. Joseph, as Protector of the Holy Souls, and he always had a few boys from poor families in his parish helping with the liturgies and preparing to be priests. They were taught Latin and other subjects, while also helping out at the various devotions celebrated at the shrine in honour of St. Joseph. Pious benefactors, who financed their higher education for the priesthood, spiritually adopted these boys. This gave Olivia an idea.

After the death of her husband and son, she devoted herself to the Confraternity of St Joseph. Enlisting help from a convert Jesuit, Fr. Joseph Darlington and imitating the French model, she began to produce an English version of the French newsletter La Gerbe, calling it St. Joseph’s Sheaf, which was first issued on a feast of St. Joseph in 1895. Her first appeal in Ireland was for a young altar boy in Dun Laoghaire. He had all the dispositions and the wish to be a priest, but his parents were not in a position to help pay for his education.

Along with putting up some of the money for him, she also looked for support from readers of the newsletter. The appeal was successful, and the young man was able to go to Mungret College for his formation. As a result of this success, she began looking for funds to help many more men in their journey to priesthood, and by the end of the second year the readers were contributing to the support of ten students. The Tydavnet branch offers thanks and blessings to our prayer friends and benefactors over the years.