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Timeline

1845

On Nov. 10, 1845, Mother Theresa Maxis Duchemin and Louis Florent Gillet, CSsR, founded the IHM Sisters. Mother Theresa, Charlotte Schaaf and Theresa Renauld became the first members of the new religious community.

1846

In January, the sisters established St. Mary’s Young Ladies’ Academy; 40 students arrived.

1859

Bishop Lefevere sent Mother Theresa to Pennsylvania as local superior; the Pennsylvania and Monroe IHMs separated and eventually became autonomous congregations.

1861

The IHM Sisters opened St. Joseph – their first school in Detroit. A year later, they opened their first school outside of Michigan – St. Mary, in Painesville, Ohio.

1899

The Detroit diocese deeded the Motherhouse and Academy property along the River Raisin to the IHM Sisters.

1905

The first college classes were offered at St. Mary College and Academy. A four-year college degree program was established five years later.

1906

The practice of sending some IHM postulants to the University of Michigan for advanced study began.

1920

The IHM Constitutions received Papal approval. Women, including the IHM Sisters, voted for the first time in national and state elections.

1922

The sisters purchased land and began plans to move St. Mary College to Detroit at the request of Bishop Gallagher. Marygrove College opened in 1927. Although the college closed in 2019, the campus has new life as The School at Marygrove, a “cradle to career” school with a social justice focus.

1924

The IHM Sisters opened St. Felicitas, their first school in Chicago.

1929

St. Mary Academy (1905 building) was destroyed by fire. The new Motherhouse and Academy were built in 1931-32.

1941

Immaculata High School in Detroit, built and sponsored by the IHMs, opened. The school closed in 1983 and is being renovated as part of The School at Marygrove.

1948

The first mission outside the continental United States opened in Cayey, Puerto Rico.

1950-53

The IHM Sisters opened schools in Alabama, Florida, California, Minnesota and New Mexico.

1952

IHM initiative generated the Sister Formation Movement, a process of integrated spiritual, intellectual and professional development widely adopted by religious communities.

1959

Marian High School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., built and sponsored by the IHMs, opened.

1960

Immaculate Heart of Mary High School in Westchester, Ill., built and sponsored by the IHMs, opened. The school closed in 2005.

1965

Four sisters helped form the Detroit-Recife Mission Team to work with the poor in Recife, Brazil.

1967

Maryhill College, a coordinate college for women at St. Edward’s University, opened in Texas; IHM Sisters served as administrators. Maryhill was absorbed into St. Edward’s University in 1970

1968

Religious habits were modified.

1969

The IHMs missioned three sisters to Uganda, East Africa.

1970

Visitation House of Prayer opened on the IHM Sisters’ Monroe campus. It transitioned to River House – IHM Spirituality Center in 2009 and closed in 2012.

1971

LCWR was originally the Conference of Major Superiors of Women (CMSW). It began in 1956; the name was changed to Leadership Conference of Women Religious in 1971. The IHM congregation was a member from the group’s earliest days. The first Monroe IHM to serve as LCWR President was Margaret Brennan, in 1972. Others were: Carol Quigley (1986), Nancy Sylvester (1999), Sharon Holland (2014) and Jane Herb (2021). Ann Virginia Bowling served as associate director in 1971.

1972-77

The IHM Sisters opened missions in Grenada, West Indies; Honduras; Ghana, West Africa; Kenya; and among Native Americans in the United States. They assisted Vietnamese orphans and refugees.

1977

The IHM Associate program began.

1983-85

The IHM Sisters opened missions in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mexico.

1986

St. Mary Academy closed and merged with Catholic Central High School in Monroe.

2000-2003

Earth-friendly methods and materials were used to renovate the Motherhouse into a model of sustainable living, earning national, regional and state awards. The IHM Sisters endorsed the Earth Charter in 2004.

2006

Visitation Spirituality Center opened in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

2008

Detroit Cristo Rey High School, co-sponsored by the IHM Sisters and Basilian Fathers, opened in the former Holy Redeemer High School building.

2009

River House – IHM Spirituality Center opened in Monroe.

2010

Lay residents were welcomed to recover from their post-hospital experience at the newly licensed and renovated IHM Senior Living Community.

2012

IHM Associates begin making life-long commitments if they so choose.

2013

La-Z-Boy, Inc., purchased 120 acres of land from the IHM Sisters for its new environmentally friendly world headquarters.

2017

The Margaret Brennan Institute was created to explore the areas of spirituality, Church and culture. –  IHM Senior Living Community became separately incorporated.

2018

The Maxis Spirituality Center opened in Riverview, Mich. The Marygrove Conservancy was formed to operate and steward the former Marygrove College campus.

2019

McGivney Way, the Memory Care Unit within IHM Senior Living Community, received Home for the Aged approval from the State of Michigan and offers quality care to lay residents with forms of dementia.  The Monroe campus of the IHM Sisters became listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Construction for 19 independent living apartments for lay residents began within the Motherhouse.

2020-2021

The IHM congregation made adjustments to adapt to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The first residents of IHM Senior Living Community’s independent apartments moved in, creating a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) with a full spectrum of services.