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ICM History

The ICM congregation was founded by Marie Louise De Meester in Mulagumoodu,

History1South India in 1897.  

 

Marie Louise De Meester was born in Roeselare, Belgium, on April 8, 1857. On May 4, 1881, she dedicated her life to God in the Monastery of the Regular Canonesses of St. Augustine at Ieper, Belgium.  In this community, she received much encouragement in her great love for the missions.

 

A courageous woman of deep faith, she left her native country of Belgium with the blessing of her congregation, to respond to theinvitation of a Carmelite Father in India to care for orphans and abandoned children.  Her companion was Dame Marie Ursule, a novice of that same monastery.  They arrived in India on November 7, 1897.  

Mother Foundress in India

Her missionary zeal, manifested in her selfless dedication to God in the service of the poor, inspired young women in India to a life of similar dedication.  Young women in Belgium were also attracted by her ideal.  This led to the foundation of our Congregation, the Missionary Canonesses of St. Augustine.  The Congregation followed the rule of St. Augustine which had continued to inspire Mother Marie Louise from her days in the Monastery of Ieper.

 

From India mission houses were established in the Philippines (1910), the West Indies (1914), the United States (1919), in Congo, (1920), and China (1923). 

 

to the world

 

 

 

After an active missionary life filled with joys as well as with sufferings and trials, always strengthened by a deep intimacy with God, Mother Marie Louise died peacefully in Louvain on October 10, 1928.

 

 

 

 

Beginnings in Bontoc

Inspired by her zeal and dynamism, our Congregation grew and expanded in its understanding of God's plan for us.  Our sisters set up mission communities in Burundi (1944), Hong Kong (1953), Taiwan (1959), Guatemala, (1964), Brazil (1965), Cameroon (1969), Haiti (1977), Lebanon, (1987), Mongolia (1995), and Tchad (1996).  

 

Early Candidates

To advance its missionary objectives further, our congregation formalized its affiliation with the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (CICM), also known as the Scheut Fathers of Belgium in 1963.  Since then, our congregation has been known as the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Immaculati Cordis Mariae - ICM). 

 

In the last decade the communities in South Africa (2004) and Senegal (2010) were set up.  Meanwhile, through the years, novitiates had been set up in Belgium, the United States, the Philippines, Congo, the Caribbean, Taiwan, Brazil and Cameroon for the formation of young women who desire to follow God’s call as ICM religious-missionaries.   

 

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