Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Last updated
Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
IHM order logo.png
Established1845;174 years ago (1845)
PresidentSr. Mary Jane Herb, I.H.M.
Members460 active sisters & associates [1]
610 West Elm Avenue
Monroe, Michigan 48162
Coordinates 41°55′23″N83°24′07″W / 41.92306°N 83.40194°W / 41.92306; -83.40194 Coordinates: 41°55′23″N83°24′07″W / 41.92306°N 83.40194°W / 41.92306; -83.40194
Website Official website

The Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (I.H.M.) is a Catholic religious institute of sisters. It is divided among three separate congregations. The original community of the institute is headquartered in Monroe, Michigan. The Motherhouse currently houses more than 200 sisters, more than 100 of whom require supportive care. The sisters originally began as teachers, but their ministries have become more diverse, including: Education in grade schools, high schools, colleges and universities, pastoral care in hospitals, long-term care facilities and other health care settings, parish ministry and outreach into poor communities and individuals in need, social services for poor and homeless families, working with those with AIDS, providing spiritual direction and retreats, advocacy efforts to help people get the resources needed to fully participate in society, programs and services for older adults in a variety of settings, and work to improve the environment.

Monroe, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Monroe is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan located on the western shore of Lake Erie. It is the county seat and largest city of Monroe County. Monroe had a population of 20,733 in the 2010 census. The city is bordered on the south by Monroe Charter Township, but both are politically independent. Monroe is located approximately 14 miles (23 km) north of Toledo, Ohio, and 25 miles (40 km) south of Detroit. The United States Census Bureau lists Monroe as the core city in the Monroe Metropolitan Area, which had a population of 152,021 in 2010. Monroe is officially part of the Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint combined statistical area, and the city is sometimes unofficially included as a northerly extension of the Toledo Metropolitan Area.

Spiritual direction is the practice of being with people as they attempt to deepen their relationship with the divine, or to learn and grow in their own personal spirituality. The person seeking direction shares stories of his or her encounters of the divine, or how he or she is cultivating a life attuned to spiritual things. The director listens and asks questions to assist the directee in his or her process of reflection and spiritual growth. Spiritual direction advocates claim that it develops a deeper awareness with the spiritual aspect of being human, and that it is not psychotherapy, counseling, or financial planning.



The main campus seen from West Elm Street in Monroe Monroe-IHM.jpg
The main campus seen from West Elm Street in Monroe
The north building on campus as seen up close Monroe-IHM-sidebuilding.jpg
The north building on campus as seen up close

The beginnings of the institute came about in 1845 shortly after Father Louis Florent Gillet, C.Ss.R., arrived in Monroe, Michigan, to become the pastor of St. Mary Parish. On November 10, Gillet and Theresa Maxis Duchemin, a member of the Oblate Sisters of Providence in Baltimore, established the institute in Monroe. [2]

Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic holy order

The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, commonly known as the Redemptorists, is a worldwide congregation of the Catholic Church, dedicated to missionary work and founded by Alphonsus Liguori at Scala, near Amalfi, Italy, for the purpose of labouring among the neglected country people around Naples. Members of the congregation are Catholic priests and consecrated religious brothers and minister in more than 100 countries.

Father Gillet found that Monroe had no school for the daughters of the descendants of French Canadians, most of whom were Catholic. He petitioned the local bishop, Peter Paul Lefevere, coadjutor bishop of Detroit, for a religious institute to assume teaching duties. The bishop declined, so Gillet invited three women to form a new religious congregation, which would become known as the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.

Peter Paul Lefevere Coadjutor Bishop of Detroit

Peter Paul Lefevere, or Lefebre, was a 19th-century Belgian born bishop of the Catholic Church in the United States. He was a missionary priest in the states of Missouri, Illinois and Iowa before he served as coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Detroit in the state of Michigan from 1841-1869.

Detroit Largest city in Michigan

Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the largest United States city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2017 estimated population of 673,104, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art, architecture and design.

The co-foundress and first religious superior of the Monroe community was Mother Theresa Maxis Duchemin, one of the first members of Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first religious congregation established in the country for women of African descent. On January 15, 1846, the first St. Mary Academy opened with 40 students.

The Oblate Sisters of Providence is a Roman Catholic women's religious institute, founded by Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, OSP, and Rev. James Nicholas Joubert, SS in 1828 in Baltimore, Maryland for the education of girls of African descent. It was the first permanent community of Roman Catholic sisters of African descent in the United States. The Oblate Sisters were free women of color who sought to provide Baltimore's African American population with education and "a corps of teachers from its own ranks." The congregation is also a member of the Women of Providence in Collaboration.

Africa The second largest and second most-populous continent, mostly in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres

Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

In 1858, a mission was established to serve the German-speaking Catholic children of Pennsylvania at the request of the Bishop of Philadelphia, the now-sainted John Neumann. [3] As a result of this mission, a dispute broke out between the bishops of Detroit and Philadelphia regarding their jurisdiction over the Sisters. Mother Teresa was faulted by Bishop Lefevre for this and was removed from her office of Superior General. She was then sent to the mission in Pennsylvania. Shortly after this, in 1859, the Sisters in that state separated from the community in Michigan and were established as an independent congregation under the Bishop of Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania State of the United States of America

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.

Philadelphia Largest city in Pennsylvania, United States

Philadelphia, known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2018 census-estimated population of 1,584,138. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.

Saint one who has been recognized for having an exceptional degree of holiness, sanctity, and virtue

A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context and denomination. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation; official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

This congregation later further split into two more, one based in Scranton, Pennsylvania (founded in 1871 [3] ), and the other in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Scranton, Pennsylvania City in Pennsylvania, United States

Scranton is the sixth-largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is the county seat and largest city of Lackawanna County in Northeastern Pennsylvania's Wyoming Valley and hosts a federal court building for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. With a population of 77,291, it is the largest city in the Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has a population of about 570,000.

Chester County, Pennsylvania County in Pennsylvania, United States

Chester County colloquially known as Chesco is a county in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 498,886, increasing by 4.1% to a census-estimated 519,293 residents as of 2017. The county seat is West Chester. Chester County was one of the three original Pennsylvania counties created by William Penn in 1682. It was named for Chester, England.

In 1920, St. Mary Academy and College had outgrown its facilities and the institute made plans to construct a new college facility. The Sisters initially planned to build the new campus in Monroe, but Bishop Michael Gallagher invited them to build in nearby Detroit. In Detroit the college would have a larger field of influence and offer a Catholic higher education to thousands of young women who might otherwise not have such an opportunity. The Sisters built their new college in Detroit and named it Marygrove College.

Photograph of the late stages of the fire SMAburning-1929-06-03.jpg
Photograph of the late stages of the fire

On June 3, 1929, St. Mary Academy in Monroe was destroyed by fire. This caused extreme difficulties for the IHM institute, as they were burdened with heavy debts from the building of Marygrove College and the cost of rebuilding the motherhouse and academy in Monroe was prohibitive. Additionally, the Great Depression of 1929 began soon afterward, which only added to their financial woes. Nevertheless, the institute finished the reconstruction and moved into their new facilities in 1932. The congregation went on to establish Marian and Immaculata high schools in the Detroit area and Immaculate Heart of Mary High School in Westchester, Illinois.

In 1948, the Michigan congregation began its first missionary work outside the continental United States when the Sisters opened a mission in Cayey, Puerto Rico.

In 2008, the Sisters opened Detroit Cristo Rey High School and co-sponsor it with the Congregation of St. Basil. [4]

Educational institutions



Colleges and universities

In the arts

In 2012, the Monroe campus was used for filming numerous scenes of Arnaud Desplechin's movie Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian (2013), which was entered in the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, depicting the now vanished Winter Veteran Hospital of Topeka, Kansas. [5]

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