Faithful Companions of Jesus
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The Faithful Companions of Jesus Sisters (FCJ Sisters, French: Fidèles compagnes de Jésus) was founded in Amiens in France in 1820 by Marie-Madeleine de Bonnault d'Hoüet. They are a Christian religious institute of the Roman Catholic Church directly subject to the Pope.
FCJ Sisters make three vows:
- Poverty - the freedom to give
They share all things in common, recognising the human and ecological impact of the drive for ownership and possession.
- Chastity - the freedom to love
They offer their whole heart to God through this vow, seeking to love all people.
- Obedience - the freedom to live
This vow calls them to attentive listening to God’s will, inviting others into their lives and decisions.
Ignatian spirituality is at the root of the FCJ way of life. The founder, Marie-Madeleine, wanted the members to live by the attitudes and values of Jesus. Through discernment and reflection, Faithful Companions of Jesus seek to discover God’s invitation in all aspects of daily life, with the idea of being contemplative in action, so that they may find God in all things and be messengers to others of God’s saving Word.
The Province of Asia-Australia
As Faithful Companions of Jesus in Asia-Australia, we live on two continents, Asia (symbolized by the land mass at the top of the logo) and Australia (symbolized by the land mass at the bottom of the logo).
Although large bodies of water 'divide' us, we are linked across two hemispheres and many cultures by our FCJ Companionship (symbolized by our FCJ Badge which spans the distance from Asia to Australia). We are united by our common FCJ spirit not only with our companions in Asia-Australia, but with FCJ Sisters and FCJ Companions in Mission throughout the world.
Eucharist is the heart of our life together .... we are companions, (from the old French compain, meaning those who share the same bread), breaking the bread of life ... and sharing in our daily lives those staples of life ... whether wheat or rice ... as our food for the journey. In the same way we share life’s struggles and disappointments, life’s joys and achievements.
Together we hope to be the gentle, human face of Christ in our world today.
The Province of The Americas
As Faithful Companions of Jesus, Ignatian spirituality is at the heart of our way of life. Our Foundress, Marie Madeleine, was led by God to use the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) as the basis for the way of life she wished her sisters to follow. Faithful Companions of Jesus today have the same desires as their foundress, Marie Madeleine, to be with Jesus in his mission,
living a companionship that bridges cultural divides, promoting the dignity of women in church and society, exerting our influence to challenge unjust attitudes and behaviours towards women, while consciously and courageously working for justice among all persons.
We have communities in Argentina, The USA and Canada and work in diverse ministries across those regions of the Province.
The Province of Europe
As communities of women religious located in Europe, we are committed to living the FCJ charism of faithful companionship with Jesus in eight countries: Belgium, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Romania and Switzerland. Our Ignatian Constitutions encourage us to 'find God in all things' and to make God's presence known wherever we are sent on mission. Our mission is not only what we do but more importantly who we are as we do it. Animated by the vision of our foundress, Marie-Madeleine d'Houët, our vocation is to be faithful companions of Jesus, companioning with God's people wherever we are and whatever our work. Like Mary and the holy women, we stand at the foot of the cross of Jesus, as that cross is experienced in the world of today.
We are Catholic sisters who make a lifelong commitment, for we see our mission as the whole of our lives given in service. For us, our diverse ministries (which include retreats, spiritual guidance, counselling, faith development, active promotion of faith and justice concerns, parish and diocesan work, ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue, education, hospitality and prayer, care of immigrants, care of the elderly, and prison visiting) are contemporary expressions of Marie Madeleine's understanding of companionship with Jesus. Across the province, our ministry outreach is also exercised through a number of corporate works: aided by our lay colleagues, we are trustees of several schools (in Belgium, England, France, Jersey and Ireland) and run three spirituality centres (in Belgium, England and Ireland).
In some of the countries where we live and work (in England, Ireland, Italy and Romania), small groups of women and men have chosen to be in association with us and to make a formal commitment to live our charism of faithful companionship with Jesus. These people are called FCJ Companions in Mission.
Like Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of the Church, and like the holy women, messengers of the Good News, we are sent to proclaim the Truth, Jesus who is alive and lives among us, who is Son of God and Saviour of the world (FCJ Constitutions 3)
There are a number of books published about the life and mission of Marie Madeleine and about the FCJ sisters. One book which gives an opportunity for reflection on the spirituality of the community is "The Story Goes on..."
- Genazzano FCJ College, Melbourne
- FCJ College Benalla, Benalla, Victoria
- Vaucluse College, Richmond, Victoria (closed 2000)
- Bellerive FCJ Catholic College, Liverpool
- Gumley House Convent School, London
- Maria Fidelis RC Convent School, London
- Newlands School, Middlesbrough (merged with St David's School in 2009)
- Poles Convent, Ware, Hertfordshire (merged with St Edmund's College, closed in 1986)
- St Joseph's Convent, Hartlepool (now English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College)
- Upton Hall School, Upton, Merseyside
- Blessed Sacrament School, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
- St. Mary's High School, Calgary, Canada
- Madonna Catholic Secondary School, Toronto, Ontario
- St. Mary's Catholic Secondary School, Toronto, Ontario
- Saint Philomena School, Portmouth, Rhode Island, USA
- FCJ Sisters International website: An FCJ Vocation
- FCJ Sisters: The Spirituality of The Sisters Faithful Companions of Jesus
- FCJ Institutions and Schools