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History of the Congregation

His Excellency Most Reverend Apostolic Vicar of the Mountain Provinces, Bishop William Brasseur, CICM, welcomed the idea presented by the Missionary Sisters of St. Augustine (often known as the Belgian Sisters), now Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (ICM), to start a new Congregation since he himself was already thinking of something similar. There was an urgent need of a particular congregation that would serve the Local Church.

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He then envisioned a diocesan congregation exclusively for the natives or ladies coming from families who for sometime lived in the Mountain Provinces who would share the Good news to their own people. This exclusiveness was first, for the reason that as they know their own customs and traditions  they would know best how to translate the Word of God in their life, and second, for the promotion of unity among the tribes.

On June 7, 1952, the congregation of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, now known as Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (SIHM), was born. The full support of the ICM expressed by their superiors, Mother Clement Susannaahselin and Mother Donatiana Dechievre, was actualized by their involvement in the formation of the new Congregation during its early years. Mother Columba, ICM, was assigned first Directress of Postulants and later Novice Mistress while CICM was responsible for providing one of its members as spiritual director. The Sisters of the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM) were very generous to house the five candidates accepted as postulants in one of their cottages at the Betania Retreat House, St. Joseph Village, Baguio City

On December 4, 1952, the Sisters moved to the beautiful mountain site “Fatima Hill, Tuding”, where the Mother House of the Congregation was built. Everything they had was given them in kind by the generous benefactors.

Out of the first groups that entered two made their perpetual profession of vows, namely: Sr. Assunta Claver and Sr. Annunciata Balagtas, both from Mountain Province, on May 2, 1961.

After 50 years of existence, the Congregation was pontifically recognized by Pope John Paul II on December 17, 2003. As a symbolic expression of its initial shift from diocesan to pontifical status, the Generalate was transferred from its present location in Fatima Hill, Tuding, Itogon, Benguet to Baguio City in 2004.

True to their pontifical status, the SIHM Sisters heeded the first call to go for mission across borders in 2006 still mindful of their main thrust to serve the Indigenous Peoples wherever they are as they continue spreading far and wide.

At present the eighty three professed Sisters witness to loving-humble service in the following:

Diocese of Baguio - 9 communities
Apostolic Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe - 4 communities
Apostolic Vicariate of Tabuk - 6 communities
Diocese of Bayombong - 2 community
Diocese of Bangued - 1 community
Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia - 1 community
Diocese of San Fernando, La Union - 2 communities

Foreign Missions

Diocese of the Caroline Islands, Micronesia - 1 community
Regina Archdiocese SK Canada - 1 community