Founder of the Congregation

- a layman -

In the documents of the inquiry process we read: "Edmund Bojanowski as the founder of the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary is a very special person in the history of the Catholic Church. Being neither a monk nor a priest, nor even a student of theology ranking below a priest but only an ordinary layman, without personal vows or any other church or canonical obligations, he establishes a Congregation, sets its goals and works out the rules in accordance with an original plan undertaken by him. He has been heading the Congregation for 16 years without any interruptions or deviations. He himself admits the candidates until the Congregation becomes firm. He himself decides on admitting the novices to taking their vows" (p.54).

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Edmund Bojanowski - founder of the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate (Polish).

He was a Polish layman who loved God and Our Lady above everything else. He dedicated his whole life to the service of abandoned children, the sick, the poor, and those in greatest need.

Edmund Bojanowski was born in the Villa Grabonóg. The son of a property owner, he became a servant of the poor and of those most in need. He shared with them his own material goods, dedicated to them his own literary and pedagogical talents; he shared with them his time and his energy, and in brief, spent his entire life in their service.

He was extremely sensitive in his reading of the signs of the times and became a precursor of Vatican Council II in his way of thinking, in his scheme of values, in his actions. In this way he was not only ahead of his time; he was even ahead of the whole lay-apostolate movement. Edmund Bojanowski interpreted the Gospel literally and his life expressed this in acts of love, of respect and of dedication to the service of others. These were the values and skills, which he transmitted to the religious family, the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate (Polish). Today this congregation, founded in 1850 to provide for the needs of the people, is the largest in Poland. Edmund Bojanowski gave to his works the name, which is linked to that of the Virgin Mary to whom he himself was very devoted.

He ended his self-oblated life on August 7, 1871 at Górka Duchowna in the shadow of the Sanctuary of The Mother of Consolation. The Holy Father, John Paul II, has declared him Blessed in Warsaw on June 13, 1999.

Charisma of the Congregation

The Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate have their share in the charisma granted by the Holy Spirit to the Founder of the Congregation - Blessed Edmund Bojanowski. It is a special gift of serving man in the simplicity of the heart, disinterestedly following Mary the Lord's Servant always, ready to be of service, to help.

We regard our service, especially to the children, the poor and the ill as our main goal. Rendering service to our neighbour constitutes fulfillment of our mission received from God through the intermediary of the Church and our Founder - Blessed E.Bojanowski. For each of us this mission is, at the same time, the way leading to God to Whom we have devoted ourselves and have become His only possession.

Our Congregation has been developing its activity both in the Christian and missionary countries. The fields of our activity are:

  • Christian upbringing of children and teaching them, especially the poor ones;
  • religious education of young girls and getting them ready for their future duties and roles;
  • help to the poor and the ill;
  • missionary service in the world;
  • service to the Church according to the current needs.

The Congregation is an apostolic-charity community according to the Papal law where three vows are taken: a vow of chastity, a vow of poverty, and a vow of obedience. Through these three vows the Sisters devote themselves unreservedly to God as His ownership.

In this Congregation perpetual vows are taken preceeded by temporary ones which, as a rule, last 6 years, Based upon this profession (= a public taking of vows) all Sisters have the same rights and duties defined in the Constitutions which are worked out in the spirit of Rules left by the Founder.The Sisters' modest dress is a sign of being devoted to God and a sign of membership in the Congregation.

Spirituality of the Congregation of the Sisters Servants

The Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate has adopted the spirituality of Mary as its own way of realization of Christianity.

The Blessed Virgin Mary always held a special place in the life of Blessed Edmund Bojanowski. He, being very devoted to Mary, gave the Virgin Mother as Patroness to the Congregation which he founded

The motto: "I am the servant of the Lord..." clearly points to service as the value, which distinguishes the Congregation. Service is the reason for the existence of the Congregation and its formation of spiritual life; it is a sign of personally accepted and experienced service - first by the founder himself and consequently by all Sisters of the Congregation. Each Sister discerns her personal value in the service. It is the value that has contributed to creating the particular social life of this Congregation

In the Constitutions of the Congregation we read in the chapter on: "Spirituality of the Congregation" - "Our spirituality is filled with the spirit of Mary the Lord's Servant. The Mother of God had the deepest insight into the mystery of Christ and lived His life. She responded to God's calling with simplicity: «I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say». Mary, as the Lord's Servant, is - at the same time - the servant of all people. She goes in haste to Elisabeth, she humbly intercedes at Cana in Galilee, she bravely stands under the Cross where She receives us as Her own children from the hands of Her Son; she prays with hope for the Church together with the Apostles in the Room of the Last Supper (Cenacle)". All that was possible because she believed in God's word.

As the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate we have been learning to imitate Her example by contemplation of Christ's mysteries and His life. Each day we learn to reply to God's calling to cooperate in the work of salvation, hastening with service to those in need.

Our Congregation celebrates its Patronage Feast on December 8 The Feast of The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

  • Pracuj dušou milujúcou Boha, pracuj rukami v službe biednym a chorým, akoby si slúžila samotnému Ježišovi. (List s. Filomene Gruszkovej, 29.08.1867)