Founders’ Day, November 10, 2021 – Celebrating the 175th Anniversary

In her book, Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary 1845-1967, Mother Maria Alma Ryan recounts: 

             On the morning of November 10, 1845 the three women (Mary Maxis, Charlotte Martha Schaaf, and Therese Renauld) met in the Church to attend Holy Mass celebrated by Father Gillet for the guidance of the project so dear to them.  After Mass he returned to the sanctuary in surplice and stole, offered a prayer of oblation and rested the stole upon the shoulder of each.  Sister Rosalita, commenting on this ceremony, writes: 

“There was probably no precedent for this little ceremony in any ritual, but to the three pioneers it signified cooperation in the work of the Church.  They were filled with a great peace as they returned across the way to the little house on the north shore of the river.” (7)

The Monroe Motherhouse Chronicles (in Mother Theresa’s unmistakable writing) continue:

It was at this period that the Sisters began to think of thoroughly establishing themselves.  For this purpose, they assembled evert day in one of the small houses (for there were two) in order to arrange matters and prepare the way for a future residence.  This they continued to do until they could remain there altogether, which was before the end of November.  (8)

November 10, 1845 represents therefore the day when Father Gillet and his three pioneers definitely decided the foundation of a new Institute, and though the three sisters could not remain together overnight, they all rose at 4:30 a.m. and met at the church for meditation at 5, Holy Mass at 5:30, when a priest was available, a Common Life by day, while the Rule was in process of preparation.

(7)          No Greater Service , S. M. Rosalita, I.H.M., Detroit, 1948, p. 58.
(8)          Chronicles I, 7, MMHA