Province of France

Yesterday: A brief history of the provinces in France

On May 10, 1874, Mére Du Calvaire erected the first structure of the Congregation: the Province of Bogotá. Little y little, according to the pace of missionary expansion, numerical growth or other circumstances, the structures were multiplied or transformed.

Always to be at the service of a better organization, a more immediate contact with missionary realities, a more dynamic presence, a growth of communion, according to the animation and the demands of apostolic and community life. It is these criteria and the same spirit that have determined the history of structures in France.

1957 - NORTH PROVINCE of France and SOUTH PROVINCE of France.
1966 - The communities of Italy and Switzerland pass to the new Viceprovince of Italy.
1967 - General Residence in Rome.
June 28 1967 - Circular of Mère Thérèse des Anges: decision to transfer the Congregation’s government to Rome.

1968 - PROVINCE OF FRANCE CENTER. March 25, 1968: construction of a third Province, the "Center" for a more rational and equitable distribution of the houses of France, which would allow the adaptation of the three Provinces to the "Apostolic Regions", thus facilitating relations with the Episcopate and Integration in the general pastoral.


  • The “ PROVINCE OF THE NORTH” (headquarters in Paris), includes the houses located in the North apostolic region, Paris, those of the west and east; the houses of England and the mission in Alto Volta ( actually Burkina Faso).
  • The “PROVINCE OFTHE SOUTH” (based in in Toulouse) includes the houses located in the apostolic regions of Center-East, Southwest, Midi, Provence-Mediterranean, houses of Algeria and Morroco, during some time.
  • The "PROVINCE OF THE CENTER" (headquarters in Tours, Petite Bretèche) includes the houses located in the Apostolic Region of the Center.

La MAISON-MÈRE, Grande-Bretèche. To which are assigned the Interprovincial Novitiate, the School of Special Educators and the House of Sainville "Cradle of the Congregation". Also in the Mother House is where the General Secretary carries out the coordination that implies the interdependence of the three provinces of France, taking into account the common Novitiate and the apostolic priorities.

1969 - Mother House group with the communities of England and Jerusalem.
1988 - PROVINCE FRANCE: The 3 provinces of France form a single structure.
The Mother –House group continues to be an independent structure.

In October 2004: Unification of the Province of France and the Mother House. Only one Provincie: “THE PROVINCE OF FRANCE” (headquarters in Paris). The Maison-Mère group is an integral part of the Province of France, La Grande Bretèche maintains its specificity of the Mother House.
In June 2016: the communities of Rome are directly dependent on the general government.

Our reality today

Until the last Provincial Chapter in November 2018, we were 161 sisters, 2 of which had temporal vows distributed en 24 communities (23 because there are no sisters in Sainville) and 2 novices. Besides, 1 sister from the Vice Province of Africa works in the Province but is not assigned to it and 1 Sister from another Congregation who is in “Transitum”. Between January 1, 2008 and October 31, 2018 the number of sisters dropped by 49% despite the merger with the Sisters of St. Catherine of Auch (2014) but with the departure of the 13 sisters of Rome in 2016 and 43% of the communities have been closed.

  • Still, in November 2018, the average age of the sisters of the Province: 80.48 years.
  • Of 11 nationalities: French, American, English, Burkinabe, Chilean, Colombian, Ecuadorian, Iraqi, Portuguese, Swiss, Czech.
  • There is only one French sister among the 11 sisters under 50 and 6 among the 9 from 51 to 60 years old.

The main missins of houses and sisters are the following

  • Hospitality Houses

Lourdes: hospitality community for pilgrims, pastoral.

Saint Pierre Quiberon: Rest and holidays for everyone, retreats, sessions, conferences, ministry of Tourism at the diocesan and national levels, parish, union of Economic Actors.

  • Educational institutions

Rettel: IME - with an on-site community, IME Tours - with a community in place, liturgical animation, parish insertion, catholic Relief, community service.

  • Health ministry

Paris, "Saint Jacques": Direction, hospitality, group of Dominican feminine communities and CORREF (Conference of religious men and women of France).

Sarreguemines: Presence in the home of the elderly.

Sierck les Bains: Assistance in the home of the elderly.

  • Presence in an urban environment

Dourdan: International Novitiate.

Marsella Les Chartreux: Catechesis, visits to the sick, parish, st Joseph. Hospital.

Paris "106": Government of the Province, CORREF, doctor in medicine works in jail, chaplaincy schools, sisters in study.

Toulouse "Joly": "Joly" Youth Hostel.

Tours "St Dominique": Residencia de Estudiantes. Noviciado. Atención pastoral de los migrantes. Pastoral de la salud. Secours Católique -Caritas-. Pastoral Catequética.

Tours "La Grande Bretèche": Student Residence, novitiate, pastoral care of migrants, pastoral care of health, catholic Relief, catechetical pastoral.

Tours "Europa": Commitment Parish, Provincial Treasurer.

Tours "St. Thomas": Home of young students.

  • In rural areas



  • Senior sister houses

Marsella "La Marie": Services to the sick sisters, care of persons with disabilities.

Marsella "Les Accates": Commitment to the Inter Congregational House.

Montauban: Seniors Visits.

Paris "Villa Torelli": Various commitments at the level of the EHPAD.

Auch "Santo Domingo": Services to sick sisters.

  • England: Wokingham: Presence at the Parish.
  • Israel: Jerusalem: Secours Catholique: hospitality.


With our situation, we want to continue to testify of Jesus Christ with strength and realism. To consolidate our future, we work with others. This is true in our works (youth hostels, shelters...) but also administrative organization of the commissary... Thus we can privilege a spiritual and human animation. It is in this spirit that two major projects are in progress:

- The Saint Charles House in Paris: An intergenerational house. Its main tasks will be to welcome single-parent families (10 homes) to help them reintegrate socially; to host students and young people aged 18-30 engaged in a dynamic of socio-professional integration; to accompany jobseekers (15 dwellings), to receive some guests of passage (15 rooms). It will also have two large apartments in intergenerational collocation and will provide rooms for social formations, seminars and conferences, associative events and worship and will open places for people to meet. In addition, it will have free accommodation. The management will be entrusted to the Habitat and Humanism Association. This project is under way, the reconstruction should be completed a year or so later. The Community will have a mission of spiritual and relational animation. We are now in the reflection phase on the possibility of an inter-congregational community that would be part-taking part of the house project.

Maison Saint Charles

- Great Breteche in Tours: Bretèche will remain the Mother House of the Congregation with a place for the General Government, the archives of the Congregation, the documentation center and the annex of the General Secretariat. The site will host a Community, an EHPAD (Accommodation for the Elderly Dependents) with 25 rooms reserved for the Congregation, a residence-services where will house more independent sisters, a home of young students and an extension of Secours Catholique which already there. The EHPAD and the residence-services will be managed by the Leopold Bellan Foundation which has 67 institutions, most of them in Ile de France and a gerontological hospital in Paris. A non-profit institution, the Léopold Bellan Foundation, created in 1884, carries the values of solidarity and respect for others, it welcomes or accompanies without any distinction of origin, religious affiliation or means the people who seek it. Today, it brings the most appropriate responses to the care of needs in several other sectors: very young children, children, young people and adults with mental, psychic or sensory disabilities, children and young people at risk or in social difficulty, sick.

In all of our communities, the Sisters live their religious life with courage and have many missions that they pursue with great passion as suggested in the summary table of the missions above. We emphasize the importance of the presence among us of sisters from other provinces; they carry with us the concern for the proclamation of the Gospel.

- Marseille: a new community? This great city where we have been very present and where we are still is a multicultural, very cosmopolitan place where people of all religions rub shoulders. Some neighborhoods are very poor, many migrants are present. We have the project to continue and strengthen the mission in the city center.

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