Society of Jesus

St. Ignatius of LoyolaThe Society of Jesus is a Catholic religious order of men in direct service to the Pope. It was founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola. The Society comprises priests and brothers who are commonly referred to as Jesuits. As the largest male religious order in the Church the Society’s members are engaged in various ministries throughout the world. Jesuits are particularly active in education and intellectual pursuits with the Society having established numerous schools and colleges. Priests undertake work in many areas and missionary activity places particular emphasis on faith and justice.


The Society is led by a Superior General and members take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The motto of the Society is ‘Ad majorem Dei gloriam’. Hence, Jesuits seeks to dedicate all they do to ‘the greater glory of God.’ There are approximately 200 Irish Jesuits. The Irish Province of the Society is responsible for well-known publications such as The Sacred Heart Messenger and Studies. The Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart is an Apostolate of the Society of Jesus having been founded in Ireland by Fr James Cullen SJ.


211 Churchill Park,      


Tel: 028 38330366


The Society of Jesus has had a presence in Drumcree parish since 1981 when the first Jesuits came to live in Portadown. The Jesuit community is now established at ‘Iona’ in Churchill Park. Throughout the years different members of the Society have made many contributions to the life of the local neighbourhood and the wider parish.


Always seeking to draw people closer to God, Jesuits have attempted to heal divisions and promote reconciliation. To this end they have supported initiatives aimed at community development and education. Focus on prayer and, in particular, Ignatian Spirituality has attempted to tie all this involvement to the service of God. Jesuit priests also assist in the sacramental life of the parish.


Another important dimension to Jesuit work is contact with Christians of other Churches and ecclesial communities in Portadown and beyond. Members of the Society have been anxious to cultivate friendship and understanding with Christians of other traditions.


The current members of the Jesuit community at Iona are:
Fr. Brendan McPartlin SJ
Fr. Frank Brady SJ 


Celebrating 25 years 

On 8th October 2006 a cross-community service was held in the Church of St. John the Baptist to celebrate 25 years of Jesuit presence in Portadown. The event was graced by the presence of Bishop Clifford, auxiliary bishop of Armagh and the Irish Jesuit Provincial Fr. John Dardis SJ.


Some of the men who have been part of the Iona community returned for the event. Among them was Fr. Brian Lennon SJ who gave the main address. There were other contributions from those who have worked with the Jesuits over the course of the last quarter of a century. Fr. Brian MacCuarta SJ thanked the many people who attended and paid tribute to those who had supported the Society in its work in Portadown.


The celebration was followed by refreshments in St. John the Baptist Primary School.