The mission of the Servants of Mary is to manifest God's compassionate presence in the spirit of Mary. We respond to the words of Jesus: "Be compassionate as your God is compassionate." We do so by following the example of Jesus, under the guidance of Mary.
Our commitment to compassion calls us to:
- witness Gospel values
- center our lives in love of God and neighbor through prayer, community, and service
- share with others healing and hope
- be in right-relationship with all creation
- welcome others in a spirit of hospitality
- live joyfully our charism of compassionate presence
Servants of Mary Past and Present
Our Order, the Servants of Mary (also known as the Servites), has a rich history beginning in 1864 with a young French woman by the name of Marie Guyot. Marie, along with a small group of friends began a school in Cuves, France, a small village three hours east of Paris.
In the late 1840s this group of teachers became a religious community known as the Sisters of Calvary. More women joined this small community and the school continued to grow and became a boarding school. Due to political unrest, in 1852 the Sisters moved to England where they served as missionaries, working with and teaching the very poor. The Sisters were impoverished and took in sewing and laundry to support the Community and their ministry in the streets of London. The Community continued to grow, and a strong foundation was established in London under the leadership of Sister Philomena Juliana Morel. The Community’s title changed, and they became known as the Sisters of Compassion. Throughout our history, we have had several names, all which connect to the compassion of Mary.
It was in 1864 that the Sisters of Compassion joined the Servite Order, with whom they found a connection in both spirituality and mission, inspired by the compassion of Mary, the Mother of God. It was at this time that the Sisters made their final name change to the Congregation of the Servants of Mary of London/Cuves. The title representing a connection to the Servite Order and honoring our history – the original foundation in Cuves, Frances and their missionary work in London, where they met the Servite Order.
The Servite Order began in 1233 by seven Florentine nobles and businessmen who served the poor in the streets of Florence. Later the Order built a monastery on Monte Senario, outside of Florence, Italy where they were able to live in contemplative prayer, community and service dedicated to Mary, Mother of Sorrows. The Order that began as friars, is now worldwide and composed of many different autonomous congregations of sisters, active and contemplative, third order and associate members. Each congregation follows its own constitution (rule of life) but all share the same Servite spirituality.
In 1871 the Sisters, now known as the Servants of Mary, expanded their missionary work to the United States. In 1892 the Sisters opened their first Motherhouse in St. Matthew’s Parish in Mount Vernon, Indiana. Today, over 125 years later, the parish school still remains open. The Sisters continued to move westward at the invitation of bishops and priests in other dioceses. Led by their mission spirit the Sisters went on to establish foundations in Illinois and Iowa.
In 1918, the Servite Sisters came to staff schools in the newly established Holy Name Parish in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1925, the Sisters transferred their Motherhouse and Novitiate from Cherokee, Iowa, to the more centrally located Omaha, Nebraska. As the community grew, the Sisters were asked to staff schools and ministries across the US.
Because of continued growth additional space was needed. In 1955 a new addition to the Motherhouse was built that more than doubled the size of Sisters’ home. This expansion also included Marian High School, a school for young women dedicated to Mary. As the Servants of Mary, we continue to pass on our values, history and traditions through sponsorship of Marian and the variety of ministries in which we serve.
The Congregation of the Servants of Mary London/Cuves has remained an international Congregation with Sisters now in nine countries: France, the UK, Belgium, Austria, Canada, the US, Jamaica and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many of these countries have lay Associate Programs. The Congregation is led by a Congregational Prioress, an Assistant and two councilors. Today this international leadership team has members from France, the US, Canada and the UK. These sisters are responsible for overseeing the spiritual, community, and ministerial needs of the Sisters and Associates.
The Community in the United States is known as the US/Jamaica Community and includes Sisters and Associates in a variety of ministries. Our Sisters and Associates live and minister in eleven states across the US as well as in Jamaica.
Servants of Mary Ministries in Chronological Order
2020- Celebrated the 175th Anniversary of the Congregation of the Servants of Mary/London Cuves.
2018- Celebrated the 125th Anniversary of the Servants of Mary ministering in the United States
2016- Jamaica Community linked to USA Community
2006- Renovations of the Motherhouse and Chapel, Omaha, Nebraska
2006- Servite Center of Compassion, Omaha, Nebraska
2001- Healing Garden Omaha, Nebraska
1996- Formation House SS Peter and Paul Convent, Omaha, Nebraska
1992- St. Peregrine Program
1988- Servants of Mary Associate Program
1987- St. Francis Assisi, Pikesville, Kentucky
1986- Cathedral Grade School, Portland Oregon
1986- Northwest Catholic Counseling Center, Portland, Oregon
1984- St. Wenceslaus School, Omaha, Nebraska
1983- The Grotto- Santuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, Portland Oregon
1983- Health Care established at the Motherhouse, Omaha, Nebraska
1980- Salpointe High School, St. Francis de Sales Parish, St. Joseph Hospital, Tuscon, Arizona
1980- Servite Renewal Center, Omaha, Nebraska
1976- Annuntiata, Chicago, Illinois
1975- Rosebud, South Dakota
1975- St. Anne's, Lexington, Nebraska
1973- Lucea, West Indies
1973- Servite Appalachian Mission, Lexington, Kentucky
1970- Coon Rapids, Iowa
1970- House of Prayer, Brownsville, Texas
1970- St. Mary, Auburn, Iowa
1967- Our Lady of the Assumption, Fairview Heights, Illinois
1965- St. James (St. James/Seton School,) Omaha, Nebraska
1961- Holy Family High School, Massena, New York
1959- Servite Junior College, Omaha, Nebraska
1956- St. Pius X (St. Pius X/St. Leo,) Omaha, Nebraska
1955- Marian High School, Omaha, Nebraska
1954- Christ the King, Omaha, Nebraska
1951- Mt. Carmel High School, Denver, Colorado
1950- Heelen High School, Sioux City, Iowa
1949- Servite High School, Detroit, Michigan
1946- St. Benedict, Omaha, Nebraska
1943- St. Rose, Omaha, Nebraska
1941- St. Juliana, Detroit, Michigan
1931- Sacred Heart, Massena, New York
1931- St. John Berchman, Detroit, Michigan
1929- St. Mary, Massena, New York
1929- Cherokee Junior College, Cherokee, Iowa
1926- Mt. Carmel, Denver, Colorado
1922- Holy Ghost, Omaha, Nebraska
1920- Assumption, Denver, Colorado
1918- Holy Name High School, Omaha, Nebraska
1918- St. Patrick, Estherville, Iowa
1918- Holy Name, Omaha, Nebraska
1915- St. Joseph, Lohrville, Iowa
1915- St. Bridget, Pacific, Missiouri
1915- St. Mary, Mallard, Iowa
1913- St. Joseph, Anthon, Iowa
1912- Immaculate Conception, Sioux City, Iowa
1911- St. John, Gilmore City, Iowa
1909- Immaculate Conception, Cherokee, Iowa
1907- St. Joseph, Salix, Iowa
1902- Sacred Heart, E. St. Louis, Illinois
1902- St. Joseph, Ridgway, Illinois
1897- St. Mary's Academy, Enfield, Illinois
1895- St. Patrick, Enfield, Illinois
1893- St. Matthew, Mount Vernon, Indiana
1892- St. Michael, St. Michael, Wisconsin
1871- Green Bay Diocese, Wisconsin