Accepting this invitation of our Lord Jesus Christ little Marie Louis De Meester, kept in her heart, the desire to become a missionary. She used to assist the missionaries by sending monetary help and prayers. Inspired by St. Augustine’s way of life, she joined the Augustinian sisters in Belgium. Though she was teaching there, she realised that being a Canoness of St. Augustine she would not be able to become a missionary. She had an urge to go beyond the boundaries of her own country in order to listen to the cry of the poor especially in the third world countries. Fr. Victor, who was a missionary in Mulagumoodu in India, with whom she had regular contact, invited Marie Louis to care for the orphans in his orphanage. Receiving this invitation, she set out with her companion Marie Ursule, to India. With an undaunted apostolic zeal and a deep interior life they started their missionary life.
In 1897 Mother Marie Louis De Meester founded ICM Congregation in Mulagumoodu, in Tamilnadu. Besides caring for the orphans she taught the unemployed women in the village, lace making, which helped them to earn their livelihood. It was a ray of hope in the lives of many who were suffering from poverty and starvation. Her heart was moved by the plight of the marginalized people in other states of India too. It needed a lot of money and personnel to spread her services to other places. She believed in the Providence of God and God provided all her needs. She was moved by the poverty and ignorance of the people. Inspiring her sisters to ‘have a heart so great and generous that the whole world may find room in it’, she widened her horizon to other countries. With her charismatic personality and compassion for the poor, she could reach out to four continents in the world. With ‘option for the poor’ as their charism, ICM sisters continue their service in realising the kingdom of God.
Mission of ICM sisters
Vocational training towards integral development, economic independence of women by becoming skilled artisans.
Life oriented and value based academic education moulding responsible citizens.
Empowering the disabled persons to find their rightful place in the society.
Health care through curative and preventive measures, alternative systems of medicines, and holistic approach.
Witnessing Jesus Christ to the marginalized, uprooting ignorance, injustice, building bridges between cultures and religions.
ICM missionaries spread the message of Christ through socio-pastoral ministries.