Introduction & Ministries


A Profile of IHM Sisters Today

  • Number of Sisters: 247
  • Our Outreach Extends to: United States in 9 states and the District of Columbia
  • 21 Archdioceses/Dioceses
  • Peru 


Reach out

"Reach out" is both a description and an invitation.

We are all about what Jesus did. Whether we feed, clothe, educate, pray for or with, feel the pain of, or are present to someone, we reach out. That’s what Jesus did—reach out. That’s what we do—reach out.

We invite you, our website visitor, to reach out as well. Join us by connecting with us through our website. Join us in prayer and friendship. Support our ministries through donations and volunteering. Become a part of the IHM family by becoming an associate or answering the call to membership.

Who We Are

The Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) is a community of more than 200 Catholic women religious whose roots date back to 1845.

The IHM Congregation came to be because our founders, Theresa Maxis Duchemin and Louis Florent Gillet, were on fire with love of God and love of neighbor. In 1845, Theresa, one of the four founding members of the Oblates Sisters of Providence, and Louis, a Redemptorist priest, left their ministries on the east coast of the United States to travel to frontier Michigan. They left all that was familiar to them because they knew that the people of Monroe, Michigan had no one to minister to their spiritual needs, educate their children in the faith or give them skills to overcome obstacles blocking the full realization of their God-given dignity and potential.

Theresa and Louis were great-souled visionaries with an acute sensitivity to the urgent needs of their times and an unremitting orientation to life and to the future. Their zeal for mission, generosity of spirit, courage, resourcefulness and confidence in God's loving providence enabled them to convert dreams to deeds. They were prophets of vision and pilgrims of a dream. In the depths of their hearts they realized that for those who love, the impossible becomes possible.

Our history since those beginning days is a long and joyful course of hope and vitality, proclaimed through lives of prayer, a communal lifestyle and works of education, healthcare, social service and pastoral and spiritual ministries.

Our works have historically taken us into a world struggling with crises of faith, commitment and social responsibility. In response to the urgent needs of the times, we have worked to meet the critical needs of people throughout the United States and in Latin America. Living the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience as signs of hope to the world, we are especially committed to works that manifest special concern, service and advocacy for the economically poor and spiritually neglected.

Theresa and Louis gave birth to the IHM legacy of loving service. This legacy lives on in the hearts and lives of our sisters today. It is the inner energy that inspires us as a Congregation to embrace the future with faith, joyfulness, courage and willingness to live in and through the challenges of our times.

We respond to those challenges today in a variety of ministries:


IHM Ministries


The field of education is a primary focus of the IHM sisters, with half of the Congregation actively involved in stimulating the energies and ideals of preschool through adult students.

Engaged in all aspects of education, the IHM sisters are a vital part of:

  • elementary schools
  • secondary schools
  • institutions of higher learning
  • religious education programs

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Hospital careHealthcare

IHM sisters are found today caring for the infirm in:

  • facilities for physically and emotionally challenged children and adults
  • skilled nursing facilities
  • counseling and rehabilitation centers
  • clinics for Spanish-speaking peoples




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Sr Joan KatoskiSocial Services/Services to the Marginalized

In response to the ever-changing needs of the contemporary world, IHM sisters are working today with:

  • at-risk women and children
  • unwed mothers
  • persons with AIDS and their families
  • homeless persons
  • the elderly, migrants, refugees
  • residents of neighborhood housing projects



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Pastoral CarePastoral/Spiritual Ministries

IHM sisters are using their gifts to meet the spiritual hungers of people through service in:

  • parishes
  • Catholic diocesan offices
  • colleges and secondary schools
  • outreach to Hispanic persons
  • hospital/nursing home chaplaincy departments
  • peace and justice offices
  • outreach to immigrants



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IHM Sponsored Institutions

The IHM Congregation sponsors the following entitites: