The Association of the Holy Family of Bordeaux
The Association of the Holy Family was founded on the 20th of May 1820 in Bordeaux, France by Rev. Father Pierre Bienvenu Noailles (1792 – 1861) under the name of Sisters of Loreto to fill in some measure the immense gap left by the ravages wrought in religious life by the French Revolution. It first began as an orphanage for girls. The first members were three young ladies; Caroline Romanian, Seconde Giraudet and Catherine Aimee, who was the sister of Father Pierre Bienvenue Noaille and also the first Superior of the Community.
Beginning in France the Association has now spread all over the world to countries such as Spain (1843), Belgium (1854), Sri Lanka (1862), South Africa (1863), England, Ireland, Scotland (1868), Italy (1870), Canada (1901), Chad (1965), Pakistan (1965), India (1978) and The Philippines (1985). The Association of the Holy Family now consists of 7 Congregations, each with distinct work, garb, and particular rules, but all under common constitutions, and directed by the Superior General of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
The 7 Congregations
- The Sisters of The Holy Family / Solitary Sisters, who lead a contemplative life, devoting themselves to perpetual adoration and intercession for the success of the active members of the institute.
- The Sisters of St. Joseph, who are occupied with the care of orphans, whom they instruct in various trades.
- The Sisters of Loreto, who conduct private day schools and boarding schools for girls of the upper classes in France and Spain.
- The Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, who are in charge of day schools, boarding schools and kindergartens. They devote particular attention to the poor, care for the sick and look after the sodalities in the parishes to which they are attached. In England, they are engaged in government schools.
- The Sisters of Hope, who nurse the sick in their own homes and also in hospitals, infirmaries and other institutions of like nature.
- The Field Sisters (Soeurs Agricoles), who have agricultural orphanages, where their charges are trained in agricultural pursuits.
- The Sisters of St. Martha, or Lay Sisters, who attend to all the domestic work connected with the various institutions of The Holy Family.