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Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate

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We are the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate, a religious community of sisters faithful to the Holy Father, the Pope. We are a pontifical institute who are clothed with the angelic garment of the Immaculate Virgin and clad with sandals of seraphic poverty, prayer, penance and perfect joy.

Living throughout the world, in Marian contemplation and apostolate, in the convent and in parishes, in hermitages and in radio and television studios, on mission in country places and in the most populous cities, we strive to diffuse "the perfume of Christ" (2 Cor. 2:15), and radiate the holiness of Mary Immaculate, recalling to all on earth the divine reality of the Kingdom of God.

Our Purpose

Our love for the Immaculate presses us forward to share that same burning love with others in response to the call given by Jesus Crucified to our Holy Father St. Francis, "Francis, rebuild My Church." The Immaculate is the model for each member of the mystical Body of Christ of what the Church should be in her fullness. For this reason, St. Francis lovingly called the Blessed Virgin Mary the Virgin-made Church. This we are striving to attain by becoming, according to St. Maximilian, "property, possession and instruments in the hands of the Immaculate One."

Friars and Sisters meet with Bl. John Paul II

Our Founders

In 1965, at the end of the Second Vatican Council, two priests, Fr. Stefano Maria Manelli and Fr. Gabriel Maria Pelletieri were inspired by the Holy Spirit to put into practice the admirable decree of the Council "Perfectae Caritatis" which called for the renewal of "Religious life" in its original purity and new fecundity; to be activated by a "return to the source," relived in the changed "conditions of the times" to realize a more exact observance of the Rule and Constitutions of the Franciscan Order.


Our two founding fathers, by the grace of the Immaculate have striven to realize St. Maximilian's ideal of Franciscan life in the "light of the Immaculate." To live St. Francis' spirit as he lived it; to implement an apostolate meeting our needs, animating them by unlimited consecration to the Immaculate. This is how St. Maximilian realized the ideal of St. Francis. In the early part of 1970 after years of preparation Father Stefano put into writing the Traccia -- A Marian Plan of Franciscan Life. He wrote it with eyes fixed on the Immaculate, on the Seraphic Father, St. Maximilian and on the Supreme Pontiff, the highest and surest guide for any renewal in the Church.

The distinctive character of our community is the religious profession of the Marian Vow of Total Consecration to the Immaculate. This vow distinguishes us from all other religious institutes. By it we seal our desire and obligation to make Mary Immaculate known, loved and served for the extension of the Kingdom of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. As a consequence we go wherever religious obedience sends us even unto the loving sacrifice of our lives. Because of this vow, we use the modern means of apostolate in imitation of St. Maximilian Kolbe: printing press, television and radio stations and all licit means.

Marian Life of Prayer...

  • Daily Sacrifice of the Mass
  • Eucharistic adoration
  • Period of meditation
  • Morning and evening prayer
  • Monthly and annual retreat
  • Silence and recollection
  • Daily recitation of the Holy Rosary

We are also bound to dedicate hours of study to deepening our understanding of the mysteries of the Immaculate Conception, particularly her role as Coredemptrix with Christ and her universal mediation. The perfume of Marian prayer is the fragrant incense that rises continually before the throne of God particularly the prayer of the Holy Rosary, Litany of Loreto, novena prayers of preparation for Marian feasts as well as countless spiritual communions and acts of love.


Life of Poverty

We are called to imitate the poverty of spirit of our Holy Mother St. Clare of Assisi "who was careful to conform herself to the most perfect poverty of her poor and crucified Lord." We desire no other treasure in this world but the One reserved in the Kingdom of God. That is why our voluntary poverty includes a life without anything of our own, neither in private nor in common. Only in achieving that total detachment can we make use of all licit means, like the latest technology in computer and mass media apostolate, for the spread of the Kingdom of God. Such poverty is animated by unlimited confidence in Divine Providence and in the maternal assistance of Our Lady. Like St. Maximilian we say, "nothing for us, all for the Immaculate!"

Life of Penance Wearing Always the Religious Habit

Penance is a response of love to the Immaculate who at Lourdes and Fatima called for prayer and sacrifice for the conversion of sinners. In imitation of our Seraphic Father St. Francis and St. Maximilian's love for God and His Immaculate Mother we live a life of penance in the common life, in duty carried out to perfection, in fasting, in using the discipline, in wearing the holy habit always and in the renunciation of all worldly amusements or vacation.


Are you looking for a life of full dedication to the service of God and of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, a life of prayer and of love? God has chosen the Immaculate Coredemptrix as the Woman who will crush the head of Satan.

To carry out God's plan of salvation, our Heavenly Mother and Immaculate Queen is in need of generous souls willing to become docile instruments in Her Immaculate Hands. If you are chosen to answer Mary's call and thus cooperate fully in the conquest of all souls for God, write to the FRANCISCAN SISTERS OF THE IMMACULATE, come and visit, or make a personal retreat. Come and discern whether our life of total consecration of the Immaculate Virgin according to the program of perfect consecration proposed by St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe is the life our Blessed Mother has chosen for you.

For more information on the life of the Sisters, visit us at our new website:

Vocation Invitation

Signup for our Newsletter

Vocation Inquiry

If you are interested to know more about the religious life of our sisters, please contact us to meet with us or come and visit our community.
Sr. Maria Consolatrice Stefania, FI
Vocation Directress
Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate
House of the Immaculate "Most Sacred Hearts and St. Anthony"
106 Bullard Street, New Bedford, MA 02746
Tel: (508)990-0335
To write us an email please use this form.

Our Mission is the official site of the Franciscans of the Immaculate in the United States. Our site has its internet presence since 1995 with its work of evangelization and source of information.

Our site's mission is to bring knowledge and love of the Immaculate to the world through mass media according to the example of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe. This site is maintained through the effort of the friars with the help of some lay volunteers consecrated to the Immaculate.

Write us

Ave Maria! This is Fr. Martin Mary, your webmaster! If you have any question, comments or suggestions about our site, please feel free to write us. If your inquiry is service specific (e.g. bookstore or magazine subscription) please refer to contact information on their respective pages. We hope you enjoy your visit to our site and we look forward to seeing you again in the future. To leave a message via email:
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