The Society of the Holy Child Jesus recently began its 175th anniversary year, which runs October 2020 to October 2021.
When Cornelia Connelly established the Society in 1846 England was a land of bitter divisions, hunger and disease. Cholera wiped out thousands of people and in Ireland a blight had almost destroyed the potato crop, causing the Great Famine. It was also an era of exploding scientific awareness and technological expertise. Alongside and evoked by this rapidly changing situation there was much religious questioning.
175 years later many of those descriptions can be ‘matched’ in all the countries where the Society is serving. We know the current times well ... and we also know that when Cornelia and the first sisters arrived in Derby (England) they ‘rolled up their sleeves’, literally and metaphorically, and got on with what God was asking of them in the situation. This anniversary year is an invitation for us to do the same, whether still shielding or in semi-lockdown or returning to work in schools and other ministries.
Inspired by the vision and spirit of Cornelia, today’s members are alert to the needs of the twenty-first century and continue to reach out in service to others just as she did. The Society spans four continents, where we live our mission to rejoice in God’s presence and to help people believe that God lives and acts in them and in our world. We work collaboratively with others in educational, spiritual, pastoral, social and healthcare ministries.