The purpose of the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers is to uphold the dignity and responsibility of women as wives and mothers and to assist mothers in the Christian formation of the minds and hearts of their children.
Day of Recollection for Mothers: Mothers of all ages are invited to a day of recollection led by Fr. Joseph Tuscan, O.F.M. Cap, Director of the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers, on Saturday, October 26th at St. Joseph Catholic Church from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. The day will include Confessions (8:30 a.m.), Low Mass (9:15 a.m.), Coffee & Donuts, and a talk about the potential formation of a parish chapter of the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers, an organization that dates from the late 1800’s. Parishioners and guests are welcome and their is no charge to attend. Please note that parking for the event will be at the former St. Joseph School, located at the corner of Mulberry and Vine Streets. Please RSVP to tinyurl.com/mothers2019.
Under the Patronage of Our Lady of Sorrows
Pope Pius IX – “Give me truly Christian mothers, and I will renew the face of the earth!”
Origin of the Confraternity
In the northern part of France there lived, about the middle of the last century, a very respectable woman, named Louise Josson de Bilhem, the wife of a court official. Endowed with rare qualities both of mind and heart, she was the central figure around which the most learned and esteemed gentlemen and ladies were grouped. As a wife and mother she was a model, admired and imitated by others; she was like the “Strong Woman” Holy Scripture speaks of, who pays attention to all, has watchful eyes over all, a helping hand for all, and who thus insures for her home prosperity, wealth, comfort and peace. Whenever a noble work was undertaken or in progress in the city she was one of the most zealous promoters.
She heard of the pious wishes of a few Christian mothers who were solicitous about the welfare of their children and desirous of working together to attain the great end they had in view. Herself a mother, she could not but understand the reality of the fear with which, in our days, every truly Christian and conscientious mother’s heart is filled. She could not resist the strong, innate desire of uniting these pious mothers, who, by assisting one another, would mutually care for the welfare of their children. With wonted activity and thoughtfulness she went to work. Her noble undertaking was blessed; her endeavors were richly rewarded. Within a short time the mothers were united in a holy league, and assisted one another by words and deeds and mutual prayers.
The first day of the beautiful month of May, in 1850, the Christian Mothers of Lille, France, assembled for the first time to pray with and for one another and their children, to discuss their problems, and to advise one another regarding the Christian rearing of their children. This was the first union and the first public meeting of Christian mothers. The members of this incipient Confraternity of Christian Mothers were well aware that success would not crown their efforts unless they enjoyed the assistance and encouragement of those whom our Divine Savior has appointed as teachers and leaders of His faithful followers, and who alone were to administer His Sacraments and dispense His blessings. Accordingly, they entrusted their undertaking to their pastors.
The fact that the Societies of Christian Mothers originated with the mothers was a dispensation of Divine Providence. They are to be planted and nurtured by the mothers themselves; they are to be the fruit of their sincerest and heartiest wishes for the welfare of their little ones.
After the pastors were interested in the society and extented to it their protection, its propagation was astonishingly rapid. The society found its way into America at an early date, and on the 16th of Janurary, 1881, the Confraternity of Christian Mothers canonically erected in St. Augustine’s Church, Pittsburgh, PA, was raised to the rank of an Archconfraternity.
The Object of the Confraternity
The Confraternity of Christian Mothers has for its object the Christian home education of children by truly Christian Mothers. It plans to unite by the observance of its rules and regulations all Christian ladies, married or widowed, who are willing to assist one another to attain this noble purpose.
Under the special patronage of the “Mother of Sorrows” the members are encouraged joyously and hopefully to undertake the important task of training and sanctifying the young souls entrusted to their care. They are schooled to edify one another by word and deed, to support one another by fervent prayers and thus become the mainstay of spiritual life within their own family, and a fruitful source of blessings to the community in which they live.
Aim of the Confraternity
“The Confraternity will not attain its end by simply uniting the mothers in prayers; its scope is wider. It desires to instruct and educate the mothers in performing their duties, in practicing the virtues which should adorn their hearts; and by proper instructions at the regular meetings it strives to arouse them to renewed activity, to impress upon them the consciousness of their high vocation, and to inflame them with an ardent zeal. Its aim is to show them the way of attaining their own sanctification and that of their families, to imbue them with a thoroughly Christian spirit, to induce them to bring up their children in such a manner as to render them an ornament to the Church and useful members of society, and to insure their temporal, but especially their eternal.”