We, Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, urged by the compassion of Christ
and responsive to the anguish of peoples and planet,
are called to help shape communities of
gentleness, justice and peace
that witness to the healing, liberating and empowering love of God.
needs in a
Acts of the Chapter - 2002
‘There are two things in life, Jesus Christ and the poor’
Fr. Victor Braun
With gratitude to God whose power working in us “can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine,” we strive to be people of prayer, praise and dedicated service. Eph 3:20
Our Congregation came to birth in the picturesque village of Chigwell
in south-east England on March 5th 1903.
It is from this tranquil village in rural Essex that our familiar name of
Chigwell Sisters is derived.
The purpose of our congregation is to bring
the love and compassion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
to all those we meet in our service of love.
These words which our founder, Father Victor Braun, addressed to the first sisters of the congregation, have inspired the hearts of each member of our congregation all down the years. They find an echo in the heart of each new member and give meaning and purpose to our mission in this new century. Walking in the footsteps of our early sisters we continue to provide education, health, social and pastoral services for poor and vulnerable people, especially women and children in those parts of the world where we are called to serve.
In the first half of the twentieth century the Chigwell Sisters spread rapidly to various parts of London, Liverpool, Glasgow; then later to Cork in Ireland and Cardiff in Wales. New foundations opened also in smaller towns and rural areas.
A second spring in the mid-fifties spirited us to California and Zambia where successive small groups of sisters firmly planted the mission of our congregation. They established and worked in parish schools, hospitals and rural clinics. Many of these still flourish today though no longer under our “banner”.
At the dawn of this new millennium, a small band of sisters – though this time not in the vigour of their youth - set out for the war-torn cities of Bogota and San Salvador. Both these Latin American countries are still scarred by continuing local violence. In the Salvadoran villages where we now minister many traumatised families still struggle to deal with their violent past.
By the year 2000 the congregation had now been planted in four continents, most recently in Asia, in Cebu, the “jewel of The Philippines”. There we are engaged in urban development in the poorest situs of the city. Our newest project is a computer-based programme for youth who were once street children. It has the right in tune with Filipino advanced technology.
In 2001 our first Ugandan home-based care programme for HIV/AIDS patients was started near Kampala. A second foundation in the north of the country is bringing new hope and practical support to the thousands of displaced Acholi people who still live in fear and dire poverty despite the recent signing of the fragile peace accord.
Here in the UK and Ireland new beginnings in Belfast, Roscrea, Worksop and Sheffield witness to our readiness to go forward in hope when called upon to respond to the signs of the times and the needs of the church in a rapidly changing multi-racial and multi-cultural society.