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IJ - INFANT JESUS SISTERS




NATURE AND AIM OF THE INFANT JESUS INSTITUTE



 As Sisters of the Infant Jesus
Christ calls  us within the Church
 To follow Him
by dedicating our lives  in total abandonment
to the proclamation of the Good News
 “ especially to the simple and the poor”.

Rooted deeply
In the mystery of the Incarnation,
we do all in our power
to foster the growth of all people
 in the image of God,
so that each one may be formed
in the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

 From our shared life and prayer
in the apostolic communities
 we draw strength for our ministry;
thus the active and contemplative life are one.

Relying on the power of the Holy Spirit,
Our whole life is animated by love
which is for us the source
of disinterestedness,
humility and availability,
courage and freedom.

  Vision of the IJ Myanmar Misson

We dream God’s dream of a people
living  in freedom and justice,
in a land that is sacred and respected,
where God is celebrated.


BLESSED NICOLAS BARRE

    Nicolas Barre was born on 21st October 1621 in Amiens in France.  He was educated by the Jesuits and was an outstanding student.  A brilliant future was assured but Nicolas wanted to be a priest.  He was attracted to the Minim order, whose motto was "Caritas" and its call to be ' least of all '.   

    In 1642 Nicolas was ordained a priest and taught theology in Paris as well as continuing his other work as a preacher and confessor.  He grew in holiness and helped many people to discover God's will in their lives.  His own spiritual path was not an easy one.  He struggled and suffered much, which brought him very close to God and gave him a deep understanding of the human spirit.

    In 1659, he became ill and was sent, first to Amiens and then to Rouen, where the monastery was close to where the poorer families lived.  Nicolas loved being among these people to whom he ministered as priest, preacher and confessor.  He saw that many of them had no knowledge of God and no opportunities for education.  He could see that they were caught in poverty trap that offered no way out.  They were illiterate, spent much of their time in untrained work or roaming the streets.  Sometimes they went out ot beg or even to steal in an effort to survive.
    In 1662, Nicolas began to offer guidance and training to some generous young women, enabling them to teach the children in several locations around the area.  These 'little schools' proved very successful and popular.

    When he saw the dedication of these young women, he invited them to live together as a community, in a spirit of  total trust in God's providential guidance.  They said a wholehearted 'yes' to this invitation and thus Institute of the Infant Jesus Sisters was born in 1666.  Nicolas Barre had the courage and creativity at that time in history to give this community a rule of life that did not include the making of vows.  Thus they were free to move and live close to the ordinary people and were not confined by the cloister as religious women were at that time.  As time went on, they not only taught in the 'small schools', but also in trade schoos which would enable younger people to earn their living.

They also reached out to -
    -    young women who were struggling with the meaning of  their lives
    -    parents who had limited education and little sense of God
    -    those who were seeking guidance in deeper prayer, including those who were sick or suffering.
    Nicolas was invited to continue similar work in Paris, again with great success.  As the needs grew, so did the need for formatin and training.  A rented house in Rue St. Maur in Paris became the centre for the religious formation and professional training of the Sisters.

    Nicolas Barre's teachers became well-known for their experise and their gentle approach.  Requests came from different parts of France to set up similar schools, to which Nicolas responded and the Sisters went  wherever they were needed.  He remained very much in touch with the everyday concerns and needs of the people to whom he ministered and became known throughout France as a gifted and sensitive preacher and spiritual director.
    Nicolas Barre's health, never too robust, was deteriorating and eventually he was confined to the infirmary in his Minim community.  He continued to see people who came to visit him and to deal with the concerns of the Institute.  With regard to the question of its future, he put all i God's hands and prepared for death.  This came on 31st May 1686.  Three hundred years later, at his beatification on the 7th March 1999, we were reminded of his contemplative and courageous spirit.  He was deeply motivated by the extraordinary of his contemplative and courageous spirit.  He was deeply motivated by the extraordinary love of God for all humankind, who desires that all be saved and no one be lost.