Cornelia Connelly

Cornelia Connelly, an American-born wife and mother and a zealous convert became the founder of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus in England in 1846. View a complete timeline of her life by clicking here and read about her story here and here.


Her sisters were primarily trained as educators, and her educational system was praised for its innovative and effective human methods.

The heritage of respect for the dignity of every human being, which Cornelia gave her community, has been translated through the generations as a spirit of trust and of reverence for all God’s people.

In 1862 six sisters from England took the Society to the United States, and initiatives of European and North American sisters followed in the next century. In 1930 three sisters brought the Society to Nigeria, and in 1967 four sisters began the Society’s life in Chile.

Today the Society is in North America, Africa, Europe, Latin and South America, and Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus live out the motto of the Society, “Actions Not Words,” in a variety of ministries living out religious life in the third millennium.