The Congregation of Jesus and Mary was founded in Lyon, France, in October 1818, by a French woman, Claudine Thevenet. (1774 – 1837) Claudine lived through the horrors of the French Revolution and was profoundly affected by the brutal execution of two of her brothers, which she witnessed at the young age of 19. The miseries of her time and a deep experience of the active goodness of God urged her to make Jesus and Mary known and loved by means of Christian Education, with a preference for the young and among these for the poor. This ideal of Claudine remains the aim of the Congregation. Sharing in this Mission we also have the ‘Family of Jesus and Mary’ an organization of lay collaborators.
The Congregation, founded in France in 1818, is today present in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and Latin America with the Generalate in Rome. At present we are about 1239 religious serving in 28 countries. In India we have three provinces: Pune, Delhi and Vadodara. We are about 307 sisters in India serving in the major cities and rural areas.
The Pune Province which extends over Maharashtra, Goa and Timor Leste has a diversity of apostolate. In the cities, it has established 7 English Medium High Schools, 2 High School and Junior College, A Special School for the Mentally Challenged, A Teacher Training Institute, Open Schools, Play School, A Retreat House, and a Boarding School for Street Children. We also have Boardings, Dispensaries, Health Care Centres, Nursing School, Self-Help Groups, English Classes, Pastoral Visiting and Vocational Training Courses in our Mission Centres of Maharashtra.
In 1842 the first groups of missionaries came to India and so today we have been serving in India for more than 160 years.
The Congregation of Jesus and Mary has completed 199 years of service to the Church and to the world. In response to the call of the Church and in response to the request of our Superior General to launch out to other parts of the continent of Asia, we have extended our presence and our ministry to East Timor.