UK History
1970 - 1980






Sarsfield House
In 1970 The Sons of Divine Providence, in response to an invitation from Archbishop McQuaid, purchased a plot of land just outside the city of Dublin, off Sarsfield Road, just south of Phoenix Park. The plan was to build a home for the care of up to thirty boys together with accommodation for the priests and brothers of the order and a chapel. Archbishop Ryan laid the foundation stone in 1972 and the building was opened in December 1974 as Sarsfield House.

Fatima House
In 1962 it was revealed that the Sons of Divine Providence would have to vacate Fatima House at 40 Christchurch Road as it was scheduled for demolition to make way for a LCC housing scheme. Thankfully, the implementation of the scheme was delayed with the disbanding of the LCC and the creation of the GLC.

Fatima House was finally vacated in 1971 and the remaining residents were moved to Fatima House II

Fatima House II
Fatima House II was a large Victorian house at 38 Palace Road, which had been converted into a home for elderly people. When it was first occupied in 1971 it was only scheduled to provide temporary accommodation for the residents from the closed down Fatima House until they could be moved to a new home at Hampton Wick. In practice it was in use for over thirty years. In 1982 the house was redecorated and renovated to provide a new chapel, which was consecrated in 1983. The house provided accommodation for sixteen residents and the converted coach house provided accommodation for two priests. A matron ran the home assisted by: six care assistants, two cooks and one domestic assistant.

Orione House, Hampton Wick
In 1972 two large houses with extensive grounds situated between the railway station and Westminster house came on the market. Fr. Bidone purchased them with the intention of building a large home for the elderly to replace Fatima House. Work on the conversion of these two houses into a home for forty residents commenced immediately funded mainly from the compensation paid by the GLC on the compulsory purchase of Fatima House and donations large and small from friends and well-wishers. The new home was opened on 12th October 1974 and was named Orione House in honour of the founder.

In May 1972, Joseph Vallauri and Victor Muzzin were ordained in Liverpool Cathedral. They had come from the school at Voghera, near Tortona in Italy to study for the priesthood at the seminary at Upholland.

In April 1976 Fr Malcolm Dyer became the first English Priest to be ordained as a Son of Divine Providence.

St. Francis House in Buntingford was originally run as a boarding school by an order of nuns. When they left, the large house came on the market and was acquired by the Sons at the request of Cardinal Heenan. It was a home for up to twenty-two women with learning disabilities.

Seminary at Upholland converted to Cardinal Heenan House
In 1975, the decline in the number of vocations prompted the Bishops of north England to shut St Joseph’s College in Upholland and to transfer students studying for the priesthood to Ushaw College near Durham. The Sons of Divine Providence senior students moved from Upholland to Sarsfield House in Dublin to complete their studies at All Hallows College. The handful of novices moved back into the farmhouse with Fr.Joseph Masiero as their Novice Master. In 1977 Fr Malcolm Dyer took over as Novice Master.

The seminary was converted into a home for elderly people and opened as Cardinal Heenan House in 1978.

Official opening of Sarsfield House
Sarsfield House was officially opened in December 1975 as a home for youngsters.

Venerable Don Orione
On 6th February, 1978, Pope Paul VI proclaimed Don Orione Venerable, acknowledging the heroic virtues which he always practised.

Father Diego Lorenzi
In 1978 Father Diego Lorenzi becomes secretary to Pope John Paul I.