Frequently Asked Questions

Who is your foundress?

Claire Monestès
our foundress

La Xavière Missionnaire du Christ Jésus, an apostolic religious institute, was founded by Claire Monestès (1880-1939) in 1921 in Marseilles, France.

To know more about Claire Monestes, click here.

What is your Ministry?

Our foundress wanted us to focus on being religious rather than getting involved in a specific type of ministry. We strive to be missionaries of Christ in all sorts of milieus, whether faith-based or not, sharing the life of people who may know Christ or not. Embracing diversity is part of our DNA as we all work in different areas and come from various backgrounds.

We like to describe ourselves as contemplatives in action. The spiritual journey of our foundress informs our own and gives a specific tone to the manner in which we live our mission. To learn more about our spirituality, click here.

Are you a religious congregation or a movement of consecrated lay women?

The institute was officially recognized as a religious congregation by the Roman Catholic Church in 1963. In 2010, we received Pontifical Right status as a recognition of our growing internationalisation.

We consecrate ourselves through the three religious vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, taken publicly.

Our post-nominals are XMCJ (Xavieres Missionaries of Christ Jesus).

Why this name “Xaviere”?

St Francis Xavier, one of the first Jesuits and friend of St Ignatius Loyola

We are named after St Francis Xavier, one of the first Jesuits, a missionary without borders who inspired Claire Monestès.

Claire wanted us to set sail and get to know and love the world as Christ did.

This does not necessarily imply crossing oceans, but rather being able to be involved in the realities and the needs of present times and to share Christ’s mission of reconciliation in any context.

In all our ministries, we aim to contribute to the growth and the unity of the Body of Christ.

What is your connection with the Jesuits?

We are rooted in the spiritual tradition of Saint Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

As per his insight, we try to find God in all things – and all things in God – whether in our daily activities or in our personal and communal prayer.

The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola are very important in our spiritual journey. Each of us does the Thirty Days retreat at least once in her religious life, and we do an eight-day retreat every year, usually grounded in the Spiritual Exercises, and often accompanied by Jesuits.

Besides that, our many collaborations with Jesuits over the years, especially in the promotion of faith and social justice, have built strong relationships with each other everywhere we are.

We are part of the Ignatian family, with Jesuits and all the other religious communities inspired by St Ignatius.

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