Helpers of the Holy Souls

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Also known as the Society of Helpers (HHS, Official Catholic Directory #1890), an international missionary congregation of sisters, founded at Paris in 1856 by Blessed Eugénie de smet. Encouraged by the Curé of Ars (John Baptist vianney), the Society of the Helpers of the Holy Souls early received direction from Pierre olivaint, SJ; the congregation follows the spirit and rules of St. Ignatius. In 1892 the first United States foundation was made in New York City, followed by others in St. Louis, Missouri, and San Francisco and Los Angeles, California. The society's apostolate was later extended to various parts of Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. Helpers engage in various ministries, including their traditional ministries of catechetical instruction and the care of the poor, sick and homeless. From the beginning, the foundress envisaged lay collaborators. Training of and retreats for volunteers and recruitment of associate membersclerical, religious, and layextend the Helpers' mission. Secular members of the society, sharing fully its spiritual and apostolic formation while living in the world, were approved by Rome in the 1961 revised constitutions. The generalate is in Paris, France. The United States provincialate is in Chicago, Illinois.

[m. a. mchugh/eds.]