Our History

Jesus continually calls people to participate in a unique way in his redemptive mission. This is how Mary Katherine Kasper understood herself to be called and led by the Holy Spirit. Though poor in earthly goods, social standing and formal education, she was alert to the needs of the day. Her model was Mary the Mother of God who showed herself to be a handmaid of the Lord.

Katherine's example inspired the vocation of other young women. In 1842, they founded a pious association for the communal service of the poor and for the spreading of the reign of Christ in their area of life. In 1851, this association developed into a religious congregation with public simple vows and later became a congregation of papal rite. Mother Mary Katherine named the congregation as the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ expressing its origin and charism.

Inspired by Jesus Christ, the chosen servant, by Mary, Handmaid of the Lord, and Katherine Kasper, our Foundress, the PHJCs strive to live simply and embrace joyfully our call to be apostolic.