The Sisters of Jesus & Mary first went from Lyon (France) to the Indian Sub-continent in 1842, and opened a school in Agra. But the Pakistani section of the Congregation only came into existence in 1955 – eight years after the partition of India into two independent nations in August of 1947.
In 1856 the Congregation opened a school in Sialkot, which came within Pakistan at the time of partition, as also did the Convents of Lahore and Murree. Consequently, the history of the Religious of Jesus & Mary in Pakistan begins before the creation of Pakistan. Today, at the start of the third millennium there are eight Convents in Pakistan.
Sialkot (1856), Murree (1876), Lahore (1876), Mariakhel / Mianwali (1956), Karachi (1957), Islamabad (1979), Lahore / Shadbagh (1986), Toba Tek Singh (1999)
Other foundations were made in Rawalpindi in 1881 and closed in 1893. Dalhousie (from Lahore) in 1897 and closed in 1900. Islamabad in 1975 and closed in 1992.
Since its conception the principal work of the Congregation is carried on by means of education for children from all social milieux. This implies a strong value education system, based on the values common to all human beings no matter what their religion.
Each convent also strives for academic excellence in addition to forming the pupils to respect and cherish their own culture. There is a long history of developing in our pupils an awareness of the needs of those less fortunate than themselves, which materializes into programmes for social uplift and human development. Uncountable past pupils continue this history as they work for the betterment of others through NGO’s.
The latest venture in the development of CJM Pakistan was to open a centre at the Lahore Convent in 1999 for children with special needs, named Thevenet Centre after our Foundress; Saint Claudine Thevenet.
This is where the Congregation of Jesus & Mary Pakistan stands at the beginning of a new millennium, a new era to which all connected with it may look forward with hope, joy and enthusiasm.