The Spiritans

On the 29th September 2023 we welcome The Spiritans to Sacred Heart Church. 

Fr Kwaghtaver, Matthew C.S.Sp. will be our parish priest.


A man went for Covid-19 jab for the first time. After he received the vaccination, he started driving home but his vision was blurred. So, he started complaining about the effect of the Covid-19 jab. Well, he went back to the vaccination centre to complain. On arrival, he made mention of the fact that he was not seeing clearly after the vaccination. The staff told him that he had forgotten his glasses. Recently, it was announced that the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) will be taking over the administration of the new parish clusters of Sacred Heart Catholic Church Hanley, Our Lady of the Holy Angels, and St Peter in Chains, Stoke and Our Lady of Perpetua Succour Fenton. But some of us may be hearing about the Spiritans for the first time.


The Spiritans are a Religious Order of the Roman Catholic Church, founded in France on Pentecost Sunday in 1703, by Claude Poullart des Places. However, in 1848, due to the decline of members of the Holy Ghost Fathers, there was a fusion of the Holy Ghost Fathers and the Congregation of the Holy Heart of Mary, which was founded in 1841 by Francis Mary Paul Libermann. This fusion or merger was possible because both Congregations had a similar goal - to serve as missionaries to the slaves and former slaves in the French colonies of the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, and Africa.


The evangelization of the “poor” (Evangelizare Pauperibus) is our purpose. We go to those who have not yet heard the message of the Gospel, to those whose needs are greatest, to those who are oppressed. We willingly accept tasks for which the Church has difficulty finding workers. — (Spiritan Rule of Life No 4). The Spiritans dedicate their time, talent, and resources to work with the poor and marginalized people of society. As Spiritans, we take the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. We live in communities, sharing our resources together like the early Christian community. This explains why our motto is “One Heart, One Soul” (Acts 4:32). We undertake various apostolates as the need may arise, such as parish work, school, and hospital chaplaincy, working with asylum seekers etc.


I wish to say thank you to my predecessor, Fr Michael Puljic for the good work he has done in this parish and wish him well in his new appointment. Some of us may be panicking because of the change that has taken place, but I would like to say that you should not be afraid (Mt.8:26), the Spiritans are here to serve you (Mk.10:45) and we would ask that you kindly give us your maximum cooperation. It will be a collaborative ministry, and we are all expected to sacrifice our time, talents, and resources to make our parish great and vibrant. Sometimes change can be painful and some people are often carried away by the negative aspects of the change. According to Alan Watts, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

Kwaghtaver C.S.Sp.