Fathers & Brothers

The Society of the Catholic Apostolate is an international community of priests and brothers, founded by a Roman priest, St. Vincent Pallotti (1795 – 1850). His name is the reason for the popular name “Pallottines”. The official, Latin name is Societas Apostolatus Catholici. And SAC, the abbreviation used by the Pallottines, stems from the first letters of this name.

The Society is part of the Union of the Catholic Apostolate, founded in 1835. Right now the Society counts 2300 members, who live in more than 300 local communities in all continents and in more than 40 countries. As regards the number of members the Pallottines occupy the 17th place among the religious communities of men. Since the members speak more than 40 languages it is not possible to communicate with everyone in his mother tongue. Therefore we use seven “official” languages: English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish.

The members, priests and brothers, bind themselves to the Society by the promises of chastity, poverty, obedience, perseverance, the sharing of resources and the spirit of service. The basic motto of the Society is the words of St. Paul “the love of Christ urges us” (2 Cor 5,14). Mary, Queen of Apostles, is the Patroness of the Society.

Our Aim
Like every association within the Catholic Church, the Society of the Catholic Apostolate has a specific aim , given by the Founder. During the 170 years of its existence, Pallotti’s foundation had to face many challenging situations. After Vatican Council II, the Society took upon itself the responsibility to redefine its aims, taking into consideration the original ideas of the Founder, its historical development and the actual needs of the Church. A simple and concise presentation of the aim, easily understandable also to persons who are not used to the daily use of a theological and canonical terminology is not an easy undertaking. To facilitate the presentation we can describe a hierarchy of aims that the Society is trying to realize. The most important “reason for being” of the Society is that it has in common with the mission of Jesus Christ and of the Church, that is, “to revive faith and re-enkindle charity of the entire People of God and to spread the faith and charity in the world, so that soon there may be but one flock and one shepherd” (John 10,16). This general aim, common with the whole Church, gets its specific imprint by Pallotti’s idea of the “catholic”, universal apostolate, which for St. Vincent Pallotti became a guiding idea of his activities and his theological writings. Such a concept presupposes that every one is called to follow Jesus Christ and to shoulder his/her responsibility for the mission of the Church, to instil in all a profound conviction of their personal call to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and to inspire them for a life with and for Christ. Generally we can say that the aim of the Society is to increase the collaboration among the members of the Church, that is, among the diocesan priests, the male and female religious and the laity to fulfil fully and more efficiently the apostolic tasks. We realize such aim in concrete ways in many cases through the institution of the Union of Catholic Apostolate. The Union is an association of faithful following the charism of St. Vincent Pallotti and promote the collaboration among the laity, clerics and the religious.

Our Spirituality
The Pallottine spirituality has its basis essentially in the spirituality of St. Vincent Pallotti, which reflects in our times above all in the spiritual diaries of the Founder. St. Vincent Pallotti is often called “apostle and mystic”. This means that there existed an intimate relationship between the active and contemplative dimensions in his spiritual life. Each spirituality is defined through a series of characteristic concepts and it manifests a specific image of God and of man, through a set of values and a concrete style of life. It expresses itself also through the official prayers and the liturgical celebrations. The essential traits of the Pallottine spirituality are found in the idea of “catholic” or “universal” apostolate. We can say that all the elements of the Pallottine spirituality stand in relation to the universal apostolate of all the faithful. In a concise way, the essential elements of Pallottine spirituality are expressed in the Law of the Society: “All members of our Society live in a spirit which is ever renewed by the love which Jesus brought to earth. As the Apostle of the Eternal Father, he makes known to the world that God is infinite love. He calls man and woman, first created in God's own image, and later restored to grace through his death, to give themselves entirely to God and to the service of their fellow human beings and to work for the salvation of the world”. Members of the Society “are guided by a spirit of generous love which desires not only to serve and does not seek its own interests (cfr. 1 Cor 13). This is the source and the strength of our apostolate and of our community living. It assures a basic harmony between our apostolic work and our own spiritual life (…). In the Holy Family of Nazareth and in the first community at Jerusalem we find models for our communal way of living the life of love, and for our common apostolate”. (Law SAC nn. 10 & 13).


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