Religious Institute of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Bordeaux
Rev. Fr. Pierre Bienvenue Noailles
Father Pierre Bienvenue Noailles,
Parish Priest of St. Eulalie in Bordeaux, moved by the Spiritual
and material conditions that prevailed in Society after the
French Revolution, formed the Association of the Holy Family
in 1820. Soon after
in 1822, he was blessed with an apparition of Our Lord in
the Monstrance (1822). His
zeal knew no bounds, and so was the work he founded.
He says that "the Association of the Holy Family
is open to all the Faithful both men and women, whether they
live alone or in community, whether they observe precepts
only or aspire to the perfection of the Gospel".
The Fonder himself states his aim is "to renew
and to extend, as far as possible, in all classes of society,
the spirit, the virtue and the good works of the early Christians,
and of the Holy Family of Nazareth".
the Association of the Holy Family was divided into three
branches - that of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The Branch of Mary
included the Religious Sisters of the Holy Family, who responded
to various needs of the Society of France at that time. According to the specific apostolic activity
they were engaged in, they were divided into seven branches
viz. Sisters of the Immaculate Conception who were
in charge of Schools, Sisters of St. Joseph in charge of Orphans,
Sisters of Hope in charge of Hospitals.
Agricole Sisters engaged in rural agriculture etc.
After Vatican II when the Congregations were asked
to go back to the original inspiration of their founders in
orders in order to adapt and renew themselves according to
the needs of today, the Holy Family Congregation discovered
that the vision of the Fonder was to establish an Association
embracing all the different vocations in the Church Contemplatives,
Apostolic Religious, Consecrated seculars and lay associated,
and Ecclesiatics, four groups each with its specific way of
life, but all having the same spirit and same aim to form
the Association of the Holy Family, or the Family of Pierre
Bienvenue Noailles as it is called today.
Institute of the Religious of the Holy Family is a Religious
Institute of Pontifical Right with two specific vocations
– organized into a Vicariate for the Contemplative Religious,
and Province and Delegations for the Apostolic Religious. The Consecrated Seculars form the Secular Institute of the Holy
Family and the Lay Associates, and Ecclesiastics attracted
to the Holy Family Charism – its spiritually and aim, form
part of this vast family.
concrete expression of the Charism is lived out today in 24
countries by over 4,000 Religious who are engaged in whatever
form of work the exigencies of their milieu and the needs
of the local church draw them to. These Missionaries are in
England, Spain, Canada, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Camaroonns,
Lesotho, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Argentina and
India. At the request of Bishop Semeria of Jaffna the First
Nuns came to Sri Lanka in 1862 and founded their first Convent
in Jaffna. Now they are working in the entire Diocese and
are organized as two Provinces, the Province of Jaffna and
the Province of Colombo.
sisters of the Holy Family have beenassociated with the oblates
of Mary Immaculate in their pioneering missions. After the
death of their Founder
this association of sisters was looked after by the Founder
of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate – Blessed Eugene de Mazenod.