Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
|Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary|
|President||Sister Jane Herb 2012–present|
610 West Elm Avenue
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 Mother house currently houses more than 400 sisters, more than 100 of which 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, social services for poor and homeless families, working with those with AIDS, individuals in need, they provide 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 the sisters work to improve the environment.
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, a member of the Oblate Sisters of Providence in Baltimore, established the institute in Monroe.
Father Gillet found that Monroe had no school for the daughters of the descendants of French Canadians, most of whom were Catholic. Father Gillet petitioned the local bishop, Peter Paul Lefevere, Bishop of Detroit, for a religious instituteF to assume teaching duties. The bishop declined, so Father Gillet invited three women to form a new religious congregation, which would become known as the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The co-foundress and first religious superior of the Monroe community was Mother Marie Theresa Duchemin. Her companion, Mother Theresa Maxis, had been one of the foundresses of the 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.
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. As a result of this mission, a dispute broke out between the bishops of Detroit and Philadelphia regarding their jurisdiction over the Sisters. Mother Theresa 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, the Sisters in that state separated from the community in Michigan and were established as an independent congregation under the Bishop of Philadelphia.
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.
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, Hall of the Divine Child (a K-8 military school for boys, closed in 1980) in Monroe, 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.
- Detroit Cristo Rey High School, Detroit, Michigan (co-sponsored)
- Our Lady of Guadalupe Middle School, Detroit, Michigan (co-sponsored)
- Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, Miami, Florida
- Villa Maria Academy, Immaculata (Lower School) & Malvern (high school), Pennsylvania
- Marian High School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
- Girls Catholic Central High School, Detroit, Michigan
- Hall of the Divine Child, Monroe, Michigan
- Immaculata High School, Detroit, Michigan
- Immaculate Heart of Mary High School, Westchester, Illinois (absorbed by St. Joseph High)
- St. Mary's Academy, Monroe, Michigan (merged with Monroe Catholic Central High to form St. Mary Catholic Central High School)
Colleges & Universities
- Immaculata University, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Marygrove College, Detroit, Michigan
- Marywood University, Scranton, Pennsylvania
In the arts
In 2012, the campus is used for filming numerous scenes of Arnaud Desplechin's movie Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian (2013), which ultimately will be in competition at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, figuring the now vanished Winter Veteran Hospital of Topeka, Kansas.
- "Our Co-Founders: Louis Florent Gillet and Theresa Maxis" Accessed June 2, 2010.
- "IHM: History" Accessed October 11, 2010.
- "About Detroit Cristo Rey High School" Accessed June 2, 2010.
- (English) ‘AKA Jimmy Picard’, starring Benicio Del Toro, begins filming in Monroe, Michigan on www.onlocationvacations.com 2012-06-19.