Mission and Ministries

“To rejoice in God’s presence and to help people believe that God lives and acts in them and in our world.”


The Society of the Holy Child Jesus, founded by Cornelia Connelly in 1846, is an international congregation of religious women in the Catholic Church. Inspired by the vision and spirit of Cornelia, today’s members are alert to the needs of the twenty-first century and continue to reach out in service to others just as she did.

The Society spans four continents, where we live our mission to rejoice in God’s presence and to help people believe that God lives and acts in them and in our world.
We work collaboratively with others in educational, spiritual, pastoral, social and healthcare ministries.

Wherever we are and whatever our ministry, we help people develop their gifts and talents so that they can lead meaningful lives and make a difference in the world.
Our shared lives and our personal relationships with God inspire individual and corporate actions toward a more just, compassionate and harmonious world.


Philomena Grimley from the European Province provides service at a food pantry in Preston.

Cornelia Connelly’s motto for her community, “Actions Not Words,” captures her understanding that living the Gospel is the best way of preaching it. For her, the love of God extends itself through a loving embrace of God’s people in ways that are responsive to the needs of each new age.

American Province Ministries

African Province Ministries: Education, Spiritual, Health and Agriculture

European Province Ministries: Education, Cherwell Centre and Apley Grange

The education of underprivileged children and women was the first ministry of the Society when it was founded in England. Education in the Catholic tradition became the primary ministry of the community and, with time, Holy Child schools were established across the European, American, and African continents.

The Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus are committed to compassionately advocating for those whose lives are diminished by unjust or compromised social structures or by lack of access to education, services and care.

Holy Child sisters are boldly following Cornelia’s call and example by meeting the needs of our time with a love full of action wherever they serve.