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IHM Timeline

1696 – 1859 | 1860 – 1910 | 1911 – 1960 | 1961 – 2013

1696 – 1859

September 27, 1696
St. Alphonsus Liguori is born. (St. Alphonsus was the founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, the community to which Louis Florent Gillet belonged. St. Alphonsus is considered a patron of the IHM Congregation.)

November 9, 1732
Founding of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

August 1, 1787
St. Alphonsus Liguori dies.

April 8, 1810
Theresa Maxis Duchemin, IHM, one of the first three members, is born in Baltimore, Maryland.

January 12, 1813
Louis Florent Gillet is born and baptized in Antwerp, Belgium. Future founder of IHM.

July 2, 1829
Sister Marie Therese Duchemin pronounces vows as an Oblate Sister of Providence in Baltimore. She was a founding member of this first congregation of African-American women religious.

April 8, 1833
Louis Florent Gillet enters the Redemptorist Congregation and begins training to become a priest.

May 26, 1839
St. Alphonsus Liguori is canonized a saint.

June 24, 1841
Mother Theresa Maxis is elected superior of the Oblate Sisters.

August 6, 1843
Rev. Louis Florent Gillet preaches his first mission in America (Grosse Point, Michigan).

March 9, 1844
Rev. Louis Gillet initiates his ministry in Monroe, Michigan. Here he saw the need that was soon to lead to the establishment of the IHM Congregation.

September 19, 1845
Theresa Maxis arrives in Monroe, Michigan.

November 10, 1845
Founding of the Congregation of Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Monroe, Michigan (as Sisters of Providence). Pictured here is the log cabin the home of the first sisters.

November 30, 1845
Mother Theresa Maxis and Sister Ann Shaaf receive the habit and profess their vows. (First profession of vows in the Congregation.)

December 14, 1845
First IHM sisters renew their vows. Therese Renauld receives the habit and is named Sister M. Celestine and becomes the first IHM novice.

September 13, 1847
Rev. Egidius Smulders, C.Ss.R., replaces Father Gillet as superior of the Congregation at Monroe and continues Father Gillet's work with the community after Gillet left Monroe.

October 6, 1847
Father Gillet leaves Monroe. His ties with the Congregation are severed for many years.

December 8, 1847
Title of Congregation is changed from Sisters of Providence to Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; the scapular is changed from black to blue material.

December 8, 1854
Dogma of the Immaculate Conception is proclaimed. The Congregation had been under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception from its foundation.

May 1, 1855
Redemptorists are withdrawn from Monroe. This action angered Bishop Lefevre. Mother Theresa's attempts later to reestablish connections with the Redemptorists in Pennsylvania led to many difficulties.

February 2, 1858
Rev. Louis Gillet enters the Cistercian Order and takes the name Pere Marie Celestin.

August 23, 1858
First mission in Pennsylvania opens at St. Joseph's in Susquehanna County. Bishop John Neumann gives the sisters a three-day retreat prior to the opening of school.

April 1, 1859
Mother Theresa is deposed as superior general of the Congregation. This began a series of difficulties that would lead to her exile with the Grey Nuns in Ottawa, Canada.

April 4, 1859
Mother Theresa leaves Monroe for St. Joseph's in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, after having been deposed as superior in Monroe.

July 24, 1859
First Reception and Profession Ceremony are held at St. Joseph Novitiate. Bishop John Neumann presides; seven new members are received.

August 3, 1859
Mission at St. Peter's in Reading, Pennsylvania, is opened. This is the first IHM mission in the Philadelphia diocese.

St. Peters, Reading, PA 1859September 2, 1859
Bishop John Neumann blesses the convent at St. Peter's in Reading, Pennsylvania.

1860 – 1910

January 5, 1860
Bishop John Neumann dies.

May 1, 1861
Charter is approved for St. Joseph Academy in Susquehanna County. First school staffed by IHMs in Pennsylvania. The parish was staffed by Redemptorists.

October 15, 1861
Mother Theresa Maxis is named superior of the community at Susquehanna Depot.

May 25, 1864
Pere Marie Celestin (Father Gillet) arrives at the Hautecombe Abbey in France where he lives out the rest of his life.

Annual Retreat 1864
Bishop Wood transfers the novices at St. Joseph, Susquehanna, to Reading, Pennsylvania, which then became the new motherhouse for all the Pennsylvania missions.

February 2, 1867
Mother Theresa Maxis and Sister Celestine Renauld leave Susquehanna County for Ottawa, Canada. Mother begins her exile with the Grey Nuns. Although she wore their habit, she always considered herself to be a member of the IHM Congregation.

July 7, 1871
St. Alphonsus Liguori is declared a Doctor of the Church.

September 8, 1872
Mother M. Gonzaga transfers the motherhouse, novitiate, and academy from Reading to West Chester, Pennsylvania.

January 21, 1885
Mother Theresa Maxis returns to IHM Congregation in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She is reunited with the IHM congregation and her exile ends.

February 8, 1891
Father Gillet (Pere Marie Celestin) is reacquainted with the IHM Congregation. Connection reestablished through the efforts of Sr. Clotilde (Immaculata). He is able to provide facts about the Congregation's founding.

January 14, 1892
Mother Theresa Maxis dies at West Chester, Pennsylvania.

November 14, 1892
Father Gillet (Peter Marie Celestin) dies at the Royal Abbey of Notre Dame of Hautecombe, France.

November 6, 1908
Ground is broken for Villa Maria Academy, Frazer, Pennsylvania. This becomes Villa Maria (later Immaculata) College in 1920.

December 28, 1910
Charter is approved to open St. Mary College in Monroe. In 1927 the college was moved to Detroit and renamed Marygrove.

1911 – 1960

August 1913
Villa Maria by the Sea, Cape May Point, New Jersey, was established under Mother Mary James as a summer retreat house for the sisters.

May 23, 1917
Marywood College in Scranton has its charter approved by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

October 9-30, 1918
About 400 Sisters of IHM serve in the general and emergency hospitals and serve and nurse the sick in private homes during the influenza epidemic. Nine sisters died giving services at this time.

July 26, 1920
The Sisters in Monroe receive Papal Decree of Final Approbation for their Constitutions and establishes them as a papal congregation.

November 12, 1920
Immaculata College obtains its charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

December 12, 1922
First Immaculata IHM Sisters arrive in Peru marking the beginning of IHM service outside of the United States.

March 10, 1929
The remains of Father Gillet are received by the IHM Congregation at Monroe. This was made possible through the efforts of Sr. Rosalita (Monroe) and the French consul general, Paul Claudel.

June 3, 1929
St. Mary's Academy in Monroe is destroyed by fire.

August 2, 1929
Father Gillet's tomb in Monroe in dedicated. This is Father Gillet's final resting place.

March 25, 1931
Ground is broken for the present motherhouse and academy at Monroe.

February 2, 1937
Ground was broken for a new retreat house at Stone Harbor, New Jersey, under the leadership of Mother M. Kostka.

January 1940
The sisters open the first mission, Villa Maria Academy, in Santiago, Chile.

June 19, 1942
The cemetery at Immaculata is dedicated. The obelisk marking the graves of the Mothers General overlooks Mother Theresa's final resting place.

November 10, 1945
Sisters celebrate the Centenary of IHM founding in Monroe, Michigan.

October 5, 1948
IHM Sisters begin to serve in the influenza epidemic in Scranton. The sisters respond to the needs of the community as volunteers. Service is given without regard to race, creed, etc.

April 26, 1950
St. Alphonsus Liguori is declared patron of moral theologians and of confessors and spiritual directors.

December 17, 1955
Constitutions of the Immaculata IHM Congregation receive the Decree of Praise, making the Immaculata branch a pontifical congregation.

April 9, 1956
The Marian Convent in Scranton, a skilled nursing facility for the Scranton IHM Sisters, is dedicated.

May 31, 1960
Blessing of the cornerstone of Camilla Hall, Immaculata, nursing home for the sisters.

November 21, 1960
The IHM Scranton Congregation receives Pontifical Approbation.

1961 – 2013

October 28, 1961
First meeting of Tri-Community Board of Education is held at Our Lady of Grace Convent in Manhasset, New York. The purpose of this Board is to further the apostolic works of the three IHM Congregations.

May 30, 1962
The Novitiate Building (now the IHM Center) at Marywood is dedicated.

July 19, 1965
Scranton IHM Congregation opens its first Latin American mission in Lima, Peru.

August 2, 1965
Mother Theresa's remains are transferred from St. Agnes Cemetery to Immaculata Cemetery.

August 26, 1965
First Tri-Community Conference is held in Scranton.

April 23, 1967
Dedication of the new motherhouse, Villa Maria House of Studies at Immaculata.

February 22, 1971
Motherhouse of the Scranton IHM Congregation is destroyed by fire.

June 22, 1972
Susquehanna River overflows causing greatest flood in the history of our nation. Scranton IHM Congregation provides assistance to ravaged flood victims in Pennsylvania including several missions.

August 1, 1976
IHM sisters from the three branches meet at Bishop Neumann Shrine in Philadelphia on the occasion of the Eucharistic Congress.

January 14, 1992
Tri-IHM Proclamation of Holy Year of Jubilee marking the centenary of the deaths of Mother Theresa Maxis, IHM and Father Louis Florent Gillet, C.Ss.R.

October 1995 - 2000
Tri-IHM Haiti Outreach, twinning project, is a commitment of friendship, hospitality and financial support for the Little Sisters of St. Therese in Riviere Froid, Haiti.

November 10, 1995
IHM Sesquicentennial: three IHM Congregations celebrate 150th anniversary of their foundation.

March 1996
NCEA honors three IHM Congregations for the "remarkable legacy of their Catholic educational missions."

September 7, 1997
Marywood College, Scranton, celebrates elevation to University status.

August 1, 2002
Immaculata College celebrates its status as Immaculata University.

October 27, 2002
The Sisters of IHM Immaculata are awarded the prestigious St. Agnes Cross "for courageous moral leadership" by St. Agnes Parish, West Chester, Pennsylvania. The IHMs have served there since 1871.

November 2, 2003
Mother Marie Genevieve Lawler (IHM Immaculata) died in Chester County Hospital. Mother served as General Superior from 1981-1994.

July 29-31, 2005
The OSP/IHM Gathering, "Many Stories - One Heart," was held at Immaculata. The Oblate Sisters of Providence of Baltimore, Maryland and the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Michigan, Immaculata and Scranton, Pennsylvania, came together to celebrate their common consecration, to remember their common roots, and to reaffirm the unanimity of the shared threads of their charism expressed in the uniqueness and diversity of the four Congregations.

June 18, 2006
Immaculata IHMs install new leadership-- General Superior: Sister Lorraine McGrew; First Assistant: Sister Mary Rose Yeager; Council Members: Sisters John Evelyn DiTrolio, Mariann Guiniven, Dolores Joseph Bozzelli; Secretary: Sister Rita Lenihan; Treasurer: Sister Joanne Ralph.

February 21, 2007
Today, Ash Wednesday, four Congregations, the Oblate Sisters of Providence (Baltimore) and the three IHM Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Monroe, Scranton, Immaculata) issued a joint statement acknowledging racism in their history and pledging their commitment to address the sin of racism in the present.

December 12, 2007
85th Anniversary of the IHM foundation in Lima, Peru.

July 16, 2008
Opening of new mission at Our Lady of Lourdes, Raleigh, North Carolina.

December 2011
IHM Immaculata Congregation turns over its missions in Chile to Lay Leadership.

June 17, 2012
Immaculata IHMs install new leadership-- General Superior: Sister Lorraine M. McGrew; First Assistant: Sister John Evelyn DiTrolio; Council Members: Sisters Patricia M. McDermott, William Therese Byrne, Mary Ellen Tennity; Secretary: Sister Rita Marie Lenihan; Treasurer: Sister Marie Anselm Cooper.

January 6, 2013
The Pope Paul VI Award for Catechetical Leadership is awarded to the IHM Immaculata Congregation for significant contributions to the field of catechesis on archdiocesan, national, and international levels at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia.


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