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The Missionary Sisters of St. Augustine, now known as the ICM Sisters, decided there was an urgent need for a congregation that would be able to serve the local church. They presented their ideas to Bishop William Brasseur, who graciously welcomed the idea, as he too felt a new congregation was necessary. He knew then that the next step had to be finding the right candidates.

The young congregation of the native sisters of the Mountain Provinces was soon founded by the zealous missionary bishop, His Excellency Most Reverend Apolistic Vicar of the Mountain Provinces, Bishop William Brasseur. Together, the Bishop and his Missionary Sisters worked with ceaseless efforts and fiery zeal for the conversion of souls, creating work so beautiful and sublime in scope.

yBishop William Brasseur also envisioned a diocesan congregation that would be exclusively for the native women living in the Mountain Provinces. Once learning the ways, they would then be able to share the Good news to their own people.  It was important that it was exclusive at first; the natives not only knew their own customs and traditions, but they also would know the best way to translate the Word of God into their own lives.

With much prayer and discernment, the Bishop presented his plan to the ICM who readily accepted his new ideas. In addition, The Superiors, Mother Clement Susannaahselin and Mother Donatiana Dechievre, were supportive of his plan.

Finally, on June 7, 1952, the congregation of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was born, now known as Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Mother Columba, ICM, was assigned first Directress of Postulants and later Novice Mistress. In addition, five candidates were accepted as postulants including Josephine Claver of Bontoc, Elena Balagtas from Sagada, Josephine Maxino from Sabangan, Casmira Cajigan from Bauko, and Soledad Betay from Pinukpuk. They were generously taken in by the Sisters of the Religious of the Virgin Mary in one of their cottages at the Betania Retreat House in Baguio City.

On September 8, 1953, Bishop William Brasseur received the official permission from Rome to start the new congregation and the Decree of Erection was issued on October 3, 1952. Meanwhile—the Constitution was being drafted and yinstructions from the sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith were being followed.

What began as just a tiny seed of a congregation began to grow beautifully, moving to the stunning mountain site called “Fatima Hill Tuding”, seven kilometers from Baguio, where the mother house was built. The change of scenery happened just six months after the congregation was started, on December 4, 1952. Through the generous donations of benefactors the congregation was able to mature into an amazing creation. Joy radiated from the smiles of the future brides of Christ. The first Directress of Postulants, Mother Columba, used the Rule of St. Augustine to write down very important matters for a Custom Book that would be needed in the future.

The Constitution was drafted and sent to Rome, and on April 10, 1953, Bishop William Brasseur received permission to approve the Constitution, finalizing it on July 2, 1953.

Profession sisters were sent to formal studies and various seminars in order to learn how to better handle the demands of the apostolate. They also met monthly to have recollections as well as once-yearly retreats. After Vatican, 11 renewal seminars and sessions on religious life were conducted. Meanwhile, the sisters were in preparation for their autonomy.

y50 years after its beginning, the Congregation was pontifically recognized by Pope John Paul II on December 17, 200. The congregation was no longer a diocesan institute with the intentions of spreading far and wide, but one who thrust all of their time and effort into serving the indigenous people. As a symbolic expression of its initial shift the Generalate was transferred from its location in Fatima Hill to St. Therese Convent, #43 Sunflower Street, St. Joseph Village, Baguio City in 2004.

True to their status as pontifical, the SIHM Sisters heeded the call to go to Tinian Island of the Northern Mariana Islands on May 28, 2006, while on October 19, two Sisters were sent to Chuuk of the Caroline Islands in Micronesia.  

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