Soeurs de Saint-Joseph de Cluny
      The Mother House

The Mother House

A sign of unity

The Mother House, where Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey spent the last months of her life, is “the centre of animation and co-ordination, a place of meeting and renewal and a sign of unity.” (Constitutions pg. 15)

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The many new ways of communication today have greatly facilitated a closer relationship between the Sisters in the Mother House and those in the provinces in terms of an exchange of information, sessions, pilgrimages "to the Sources" etc. Always keeping alive the memory and spirit of the Foundress, the Mother House is for all the sisters, a sign of unity.

Some key dates


1 November: The Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny move into the house that Anne-Marie Javouhey had just bought at 57 rue du Faubourg St. Jacques, Paris.


15 July: Anne-Marie Javouhey died in this house.


The General Chapter held in Cluny decides that the Superior General and her councilors must now reside in Paris.


Government approval for the house and the novitiate in Paris, followed by approval to transfer the Mother House of Cluny to Paris (Decree of 21 July 1870)

1870-1871 (War of 1870)

Because of the war, Mother Mary of Jesus Bajard leaves Paris and resides in Alençon.


In September, Mother Sainte Lutgarde Desrivières left Paris and spent two months in Bordeaux. As the war continued, she returned to Paris and then from April to September 1918, moved to Bordeaux.


Declaration of war on 1 September. Mother Maria of St. John Lamure, who was ill, left for Limoux where she died on 23 April, 1940. Mother Catherine of Jesus Christ D’Ornelles becomes Vicar General; she remains in Portugal to keep in touch with the houses of overseas territories. Mother Marie de Saint-Jean Letourneux, Assistant General, remains in Paris. The Nuncio, Archbishop of Paris and several other prelates spend approximately a month in the Mother House to benefit from its shelter against bombing.


The relics of Anne-Marie Javouhey are brought from Senlis to Paris. After the beatification, in 1950, the reliquary is placed under the altar of the chapel and the reliquary of Anne-Marie Javouhey’s Heart is preserved in the crypt.

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