As more women joined Marie-Antoinette in service, they sought to share a communal way of life and, with the guidance of Father Begel, petitioned the bishop of the diocese of Nancy for approval for their foundation as a religious community. In 1858, they received the name Sisters of the Humility of Mary, and Marie-Antoinette became Mother Madelaine.
In 1864, Bishop Amadeus Rappe of Cleveland invited the Community to the United States to serve French immigrants in his diocese. He provided a place in Pennsylvania for the Motherhouse, now called Villa Maria Community Center.
The entire community of 11 sisters, along with four orphans, emigrated to America, leaving behind their homeland, their families and their foundress, Mother Madelaine, who died in France three months before their voyage.
Through many hardships, the Community grew – building schools and hospitals, serving parishes and reaching out to meet the needs of people who were poor and neglected.
In the spirit of our founders, we respond to the changing needs of our day through a diversity of ministries. What does not change is our dedication to the Humility of Mary, in whose spirit we pray and work for the transformation of the world through justice and peace.
Provided by the Sisters of the Humility of Mary, Villa Maria PA