The Sister Servants of the Blessed Sacrament were founded as a response to a disgraceful crime. On July 18, 1901 a thief broke open a wooden tabernacle door and stole the ciborium (sacred vessel) with consecrated hosts from the chapel of La Purisima, an annex of the local parish church. Deeply saddened, Fr. Silviano Carrillo considered this a matter of ignorance more than an act of greed or evil. Immediately, Fr. Silviano and his parishioners organized acts of reparation. This sacrilege was answered by an act of love: the founding of the Sister Servants of the Blessed Sacrament (“SJS” for its initials in Spanish). This new community’s twofold mission was: 1) to adore Jesus in the Eucharist and, 2) to make acts of reparation and educate children and youth in the Catholic faith, helping the future generations to become faithful children of God and wholesome citizens of their country.
The Sister Servants of the Blessed Sacrament exist to influence young lives to prepare the next generation to live responsible, successful and purposeful lives. The integration of Catholic values in the education ministered provides the necessary foundation to succeed in adulthood.
HISTORY of the Sister Servants of the Blessed Sacrament in the United States of America
In 1924, religious persecution was widespread in Mexico, especially in the field of education. It impacted the lives of the Sister Servants of the Blessed Sacrament by closing their schools. Archbishop Francisco Orozco Jimenez, fully aware of these struggles and being a man of vision, realized it was the time for the Congregation to spread its apostolate in other countries.
On October 2, 1924, Sisters Beatriz de Santa Teresa and Maria Angela de la Inmaculada arrived in Chicago, Illinois as the first SJS sisters to settle in the U.S.
The Sisters’ ministry in Chicago was to adore the Blessed Sacrament and take care of the domestic work in the Bishop’s home, while learning English and teaching catechism to the Spanish speaking children in the nearby Carmelite Church. Five Sisters next settled in Oklahoma to start a ministry there.
On January 1, 1927, at the petition of Bishop Cantwell, of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, convents opened in Los Angeles and one in San Diego.
During the summer of 1929, Bishop Cantwell opened various summer schools in Los Angeles and neighboring cities and invited the SJS to take them over, which they gladly did. With enthusiasm and apostolistic zeal, eager to bring children and youth to the Eucharist, the Sisters began teaching catechism classes to public school children every day after school hours.
The Sisters served in places throughout southern California such as, Los Angeles, Oxnard, San Diego, San Ysidro, and through various cities in the Imperial Valley.
In 1944, the first Catholic High School in the Imperial Valley opened its doors to serve the youth of the region.
Slowly but surely, young women have been attracted to follow Christ in the path traced by the Servant of God, Silviano Carrillo. The community has kept growing and expanding.
“A Catholic School is not simply a place where lessons are taught; it is a center that has an operative educational philosophy, attentive to the needs of today’s youth and illumined by the Gospel message.”
– The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School
The communities of California were canonically established as a viceprovince under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception in 1987. Headquarters for the viceprovince is located in Provincial House Convent, Bonita, California.
In August of 1990, the viceprovince was able to acquire a house for the formation of young women entering our religious congregation, Our Lady of Peace Convent, located in Simi Valley, California.
We do not receive tuition dollars at the schools where we teach, nor do we receive church donations from any parishes.
It is due to the generous support of donors that we have been able to help generations of school children grow in their faith while receiving a strong education that prepares them for the challenges of this changing world.