The Institute of the Consolers of the Sacred Heart or “Consoling Sisters” was approved as a pious union by Bishop Massimiliani of Civita Castellana (about one hour north of Rome) in 1961. The community started with five sisters, but grew quickly to thirty sisters in four different houses by 1975. Along with every other religious community it suffered the dreadful effects of the “aggiornamento” that followed the Second Vatican Council. Its founder, Don Basilio, saw much of his careful work undone by a spirit of independence and innovation within his community and it was with a heavy heart that he eventually retired to the house in Vigne di Narni to keep the flame of devotion burning there through his great love of the Blessed Sacrament.
Providence never abandons a faithful servant and so, before he died on 23rd August 1996, in answer to his prayers, Don Basilio found a successor in Father Emmanuel du Chalard of the Society of Saint Pius X. To Father du Chalard, Don Basilio entrusted the spiritual welfare of his dear sisters and, although only six remained to submit to their new spiritual guide, it was not long before the new spirit of tradition transformed their community. Out went the Novus Ordo Missae and modern office; in came the Mass of all ages and the traditional office together with a traditional rule of life centred around the traditional Roman Liturgy, devotion to the holy Eucharist and perennial Catholic theology, morals and acsetics. It was not long before new shoots sprang forth.
The Consoling Sisters console the Sacred Heart of Jesus not only in their devotions and the promotion of devotion to the Sacred Heart (through the practice of “The Guard of Honour” and the recitation of the nine “Offices of the Sacred Heart”), they also console Him in their work for the elderly who reside at the convent, they console Him through their invaluable assistance to the priests of the Society of St. Pius X (such wonderful cooking!), on retreats, on summer camps and above all in India.
Following an invitation by Father Couture, the District Superior of Asia, in 2006, the Consoling Sisters agreed to welcome a postulant from India who ran her own orphanage and home for the elderly. The postulant is now Sr. Maria Immaculata and her work is now their own. The vocations that Divine Providence has sent them (both western and Indian) since 2006 now numbers one professed sister, three novices, one postulant and two pre-postulants. A new orphanage is being built in Palaymakottai, and there are plans to build the new primary school and girls school on the same site soon after.
The Institute is composed of postulants, novices and professed sisters together with secular and regular auxiliaries. The regular auxiliaries live in the community with the sisters; the secular auxiliaries live in their families, but nevertheless strive to live up to the ideal of the Consoling Sisters as they carry out an apostolate in the world (in careers such as teaching or looking after the infirm).
The model for all members in every aspect of the their lives is of course the Blessed Virgin Mary. Of all creatures, she is the greatest consoler of the Sacred Heart of her Son. She shared most fully in His Passion and she knows His Heart so intimately as to be entrusted with all the graces that flow from it .
For more information (or to send a donation) please contact:
The Mother Superior
Consoling Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Via Flaminia Vecchia, 20
05030 Vigne di Narni (TR)
T. +39 0744 796406
F. +39 0744 797007
E. [email protected]