The International Misericordia Family

The International Misericordia Family (IMF) is a Catholic Church mission. In an ecumenical movement, Christians who wish to join this spiritual family commit to living and perpetuating the Charism of Mercy in the footsteps of Rosalie Cadron-Jetté, foundress of the Misericordia Sisters. Through a very special mission we accompany and support single mothers and mothers with their children and families who are going through difficult maternity situations. This mission is also carried out by people and organizations that adhere to the humanitarian aspect of the IMF.

To learn how a spiritual family became heir to the charism of a religious community, we invite you to read the story of the International Misericordia Family.

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FIM representation

The Lighthouse defines the identity of the International MIsericordia Family so that the foundations of the Charism bequeathed by the Community of the Misericordia Sisters are preserved and transmitted with fidelity and creativity through time without losing the fundamental valllues.

It represents a light of love, hope, and support for the person, especially the mother who is going through a trying time.

The Cross

Represents what unites the International Misericordia Family to the Catholic Church in order to pursue a mission in the Church and in the world.

The lantern of light

Represents the Founding Charism of the Community of the Misericordia Sisters entrusted in 1848 to Rosalie Cadron-Jetté, foundress, by Bishop Ignace Bourget, representative of the Catholic Church. This Charism is called to roll out in time through the International Misericordia Family.

The flame in the lantern

The flame reminds us that the Community was born of prayer and that this prayer always remains at the heart of the mission. It also represents Rosalie carrying a baby in her arms.

The two rays of light

The two vocations of the Founding Charism

  • Mission in the Catholic Church: To be the face of the Merciful God by conveying the depths of Mercy in the world and in the Church.
  • The specific humanitarian mission: Is the commitment to live Mercy by accompanying spiritually and humanly the mother, her child, and her relatives living through a difficult situation in her pregnancy and/or maternity, so that she can rise and blossom as a mother and woman.

The grey wick

Represents the three theological virtues that are indispensable for practicing Mercy:

  • Faith: faith in oneself, faith in others, faith in God
  • Hope
  • Charity

The tower

Represents the two foundations of the Founding Charism which are Spirituality (gold) and the Mission (purple).

  • The Spiritual Life (gold): Includes Christians of all denominations attracted by the spirituality of Mercy who wish to make a commitment to the IMF. The purple line reminds us that the Spiritual Life is imbued with the humanitarian mission of the IMF.
  • Humanitarian Life (purple): Represents the mission of the IMF. It includes autonomous community organizations carrying out the specific mission of the Charism as well as hospitals and organizations founded by the Misericordia Sisters. The gold line is a reminder that humanitarian life is imbued with the values of Mercy.
In this Lighthouse a core group is composed of those considered to be the guardians of the Founding Charism. This core is represented by these three elements:

The front door

Represents the Rosalie-Cadron-Jetté Center (RCJC), the central point that ensures that a spiritual, humanitarian, and ecclesial life remains active within the IMF.

The two-level base

Represents the core guardians of the Charism:

  • The first level of the base supported on the “Rock” represents the Family Council who are the governance of the International Misericordia Family.
  • The second level of the base represents the Mandated Committees and the Mission Contact People, who are the guardians of the Charism.

The Rock

Represents the third component of the Founding Charism: the lay community. This community is made up of bearers of the Charism who will convey it from generation to generation. It represents all who share the founding Charism bequeathed by the Misericordia Sisters Community.

In addition, in this Community we find lay people committed by private vows to live Mercy by answering a particular call.

Other IMF aspects and text on Charism of Mercy

The Mission Contatcs People

The Mission Contact People are mandated by the Boards of Directors of the IMF member organizations to promote and convey the values of the Charism of Mercy within the organizations.

They make known the history of Rosalie and the Misericordia Sisters Community through different means, activities, and actions in line with the mission and values of Mercy according to each organization’s situation.

The IMF Committees

Various committees oversee the Spiritual and Humanitarian Life of the IMF.

  • The Mission Committees (Francophone, Anglophone, and Hispanophone) have a mandate to accompany, support, and resource IMF’s Humanitarian Life organizations.
  • The Prayer Committee develops and supports the prayer life of the IMF through a Prayer Network called Les Lanternes de Rosalie.
  • The Replenishment Committee develops and supports the Spiritual Life of the IMF.

The symbols and colors that represent the IMF

For the members of the IMF, it is essential to know, maintain, and keep the uniformity of the symbols within the Spiritual Family.

In continuing the spiritual legacy of the Misericordia Sisters and their Founding Charism, it is important to keep these different symbols visible in our environments, organizations, and hospitals. These symbols show that we are united.

Each symbol refers to our history, traditions, spirituality, and mission.

This booklet presents the meaning and history of each of them.

The symbols and colors that represent the IMF

The Charism of Mercy

On June 15, 2022, the Misericordia Sisters bequeathed their founding charism to the International Family of Mercy. To say yes to a spiritual legacy of a religious community is to say yes to their spiritual and missionary history in Church and society.

By Rosalie Cadron-Jetté, the Community of the Misericordia Sisters had received from Bishop Ignace Bourget a very particular charism, that of putting on the bowels of God’s Mercy for a very specific mission with the most neglected of the time, the pregnant mothers out of wedlock.

For 177 years, more than 830 women, following Rosalie, have consecrated their lives in a religious vocation to serve this mission of spiritual and corporal Mercy. It is thanks to these predecessors that the members of the International Family of Mercy have the privilege of living this Charism and of bringing it to the heart of the world.

How did the three components of Charisma take shape?

The spirituality of Rosalie was of a fecundity that surpasses human imagination; welcomed by a community of women who will accept to consecrate their life in a religious vocation, and this, to give birth, live and transmit a special assignmentTo save mothers who are deeply wounded, denigrated and rejected in their pregnancy and motherhood.

Let us remember that Rosalie was a spiritual guide recognized by the Catholic Church (declared venerable in 2013 by Pope Francis) to carry out this mission that required unwavering faith, hope and unconditional love to accompany the misery of these mothers.


Throughout the history of the Misericordia Sisters, the Spirituality of the Founding Charism has manifested itself in a maternal welcome that cares, understands, consoles, guides, grows in maturity, prays for mothers wounded in their motherhood, their child and their loved ones, and celebrates. To clothe oneself with the bowels of Mercy became an experience of love and truth in which trust and hope in God and in the value of the mother held a central place.

The Spirituality of the Charism is therefore maternal and is impregnated with a family perfume and an unconditional welcome of love in the image of the Merciful God, both in its feminine and masculine dimensions. Its feminine dimension is understood as visceral maternal love that is moved by the fragility of its child and embraces it, making up for all that it lacks so that it can live and grow. His masculine dimension is that firm fidelity of the Father who always supports, forgives and puts his children back on the path.

In all the groups that belong to the International Family of Mercy, we find a Family spirit that distinguishes and differentiates them from other organizations.

The Mission

The Mission of the Charism of the Community of the Misericordia Sisters, as lived by the Sisters from generation to generation, since Rosalie, is revealed as follows: to clothe the womb of God’s Mercy by accompanying spiritually and humanly in unconditional love the mother in a difficult situation in her pregnancy and/or maternity, her child and her loved ones, so that her life, as a woman and a mother, may be strengthened and flourish.

These wounded women will be lifted up in their motherhood by bringing them spiritual, human and maternal support knowing very well that only the Mercy of God remakes the person.

What the mother receives, she will give back to her child, creating a loving and secure home environment for the child to grow with confidence and become a successful adult.

The Mission is therefore impregnated with a family flavor where the mother is accompanied in her maternal and family role. This Mission is animated by a spirituality that takes care of the maternal wound of these lonely, abandoned and desperate women. In this relationship of accompaniment, the Sisters challenge us by telling us that they were never alone in this relationship of help, God was there, acting in them and in the other to open a breach which will be a source of Life.

Fraternal Life

For Rosalie’s personal charisma to become collective, it had to be carried by a group. What kind of life, what life project would allow us to assume such a spirituality through such an important mission? It was then women who, desiring to follow Christ, responded to this call. They gave their lives through a religious vocation. This religious community has a name that expresses and identifies their faith, their spirituality and their mission: The Community of the Sisters of Mercy. This is the third component of Charisma.

The members of the community of lay persons committed to the International Family of Mercy as a whole are imbued with the same family spirit as the Sisters and adhere to it through a commitment to the Church within the Spiritual Life and/or through a commitment to the mission within the Humanitarian Life. Many committed lay people are walking and getting involved in both aspects at the same time.

All these members, regardless of their place of commitment, are united by the Charism of Mercy and live edifying fraternal relationships within this Family. They join forces to work together to build a better world.

Within the structure of FIM, there is also a place for a group of lay people who wish to commit themselves, by private vows, to live Mercy by responding to a particular call in the Church. This community of consecrated lay people will be called to exist and be at the heart of this Family. The Holy Spirit will guide us to offer the possibility to lay people who wish to do so, to commit themselves in a more particular way to live Mercy in a vocation of consecrated life.

To keep alive and serve with fidelity the founding charism bequeathed by the Community of the Sisters of Mercy, the members of FIM form the Fraternal Life. This Fraternal Life promotes interdependence, benevolence and solicitude among its members.

It is through the International Family of Mercy that the founding charism will continue. These members will then accept to prepare and form the next generation by respecting the three fundamental and inseparable bases of the latter (Spirituality, Mission, Fraternal Life). They will commit themselves to perpetuate this sacred work so that other generations may benefit from this spiritual and human experience of Mercy that has brought enormous good to many families.

By saying yes to this legacy, these members become heirs to the Charism and some are even its guardians, appointed to protect this Charism in their environment, watching over it, making sure that it does not change its identity or vocation as much in its mission as in its spiritual dimension and fraternal life.