FCJ Bicentenary 1820-2020

Hundreds of FCJ students across the globe will this month take part in a collective ‘Day of Kindness’ to launch the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the founding of a religious congregation, the Faithful Companions of Jesus. On September 20th students in schools founded by the Congregation will be invited to go out of their way to show kindness in their school and home. This will include tea parties for the elderly, random acts of kindness and a variety of charity work. FCJ schools in Ireland are located in Bunclody, Wexford and two schools in Limerick city. Students in schools in Ireland, England, France, Australia, Romania, Canada, the United States of America, Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar (Burma) will also be taking part in creating a wave of kindness encompassing the globe.

In addition, this historical anniversary will be marked by action targeting a very modern problem: the climate crisis. Globally, the Congregation has made care of the environment a priority for mission, and in response to the climate emergency, 10 trees will be planted by each FCJ community group in their local areas. Individual sisters will make efforts to divest of single-use plastics and encourage their colleagues and friends to do so as well. The Congregation will also contribute financial support for an alternative energy project.

For more information please visit our site: https://www.fcjsisters.org/our-story/bicentenary/

Follow our celebration on the Bicentenary News page and on social media #FCJ200.

Faithful Companions of Jesus

The Congregation of the Faithful Companions of Jesus was founded in France in 1820 and September 21st marks the birthday of the foundress, Marie Madeleine d’Houët. The bicentenary celebrations will run from the 21st September 2019 until the Feast of Christ the King in November 2020. There will be a host of events in several locations to celebrate this Bicentenary Year.

Marie Madeleine de Bengy Biography

Marie Madeleine de Bengy was born in the small town of Chȃteauroux, near Bourges in Central France, in 1781 and was brought up in the social and religious turmoil that followed the French Revolution. She married Joseph de Bonnault d’Houët in 1804, but a year later, the marriage came to an untimely end when Joseph died of typhoid; their son Eugène was born three months after his father’s death. A young, grieving widow, Marie Madeleine was reluctant at first to believe that God was calling her to a radical life of prayer and service in the Church and world of her time. Gradually, with God’s help and the guidance of her Jesuit spiritual directors, she began to discern the path ahead more clearly. Finally, in 1820, at the age of 38, having attended to her son’s education and future, she opened a school in Amiens, thus marking the foundation of the Society of the Faithful Companions of Jesus. ‘My name is Magdalen’, she said. ‘I will follow my patron saint, who so loved Jesus as to accompany him in his journeys and his labours, ministering to him even at the foot of the Cross with the other holy women who did not abandon him but proved to be his faithful companions’. Before her death in 1858, Marie Madeleine founded schools and orphanages not only in France, but also in Ireland, England, Switzerland and Italy. Since then the Society of the Faithful Companions of Jesus has continued to spread, with foundations in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Scotland, USA, the Channel Islands, Sierra Leone, Argentina, Indonesia, Philippines, Romania and Myanmar