Sr. Nancy's Updates
Principal Sr. Nancy Elder, IHM
The spark, given by God, however slight it might be,
causes a great crackling; it is the beginning of a great fire.
Teresa of Avila
The great fire that is the mission of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be prophetic witnesses to the presence of God in the world began as a spark in the heart of Louis Florent Gillet. That spark, the original inspiration of Father Gillet, was the spirit of St. Alphonsus Liguori, the founder of the Redemptorists, a congregation whose members devote their lives to the preaching of the Gospel to the poor.
It was this Alphonsian spirit that led Father Gillet to seek to establish a religious community of women to bring the faith to the French Canadian immigrants on the shores of the River Raisin in Michigan. Among the three women who accepted his challenge was Theresa Maxis Duchemin, a co-founder and first canonical superior of the small but zealous community. The spark had been ignited. It was destined to become a great crackling.
In 1858, as the congregation grew in size and renown, Mother Theresa accepted Bishop John Neumann's invitation to serve in the Diocese of Philadelphia, and in 1871, a new foundation was established in the newly formed Diocese of Scranton. Today, there remain the three distinct branches of Sisters of IHM whose fervor and spirit have ever kindled the spark of Father Gillet and Mother Theresa.
In a continually shifting society, the IHM sisters of Scranton have always sought to meet the needs of God's people. From the early years our sisters have reached out to farmers, miners, immigrants, orphans, the sick and homeless, women and children; we now add to that the global concerns of today. Carrying the fire of God deep in our hearts, we continue to carry the Good News of God's unconditional love to all with the same zeal as our founders.