Our Founder

The Founder of the Holy Family Sisters of Bordeaux:

Venerable Pierre Bienvenu Noailles

Along with the lay Staff, Holy Family Convent School is organized and run by the Sisters of the Holy Family Of Bordeaux – a religious Congregation founded by a French priest Fr. Peter Bienvenu Noailles.

Pierre Bienvenu Noailles was an enthusiastic young priest of Bordeaux who, at the age of 27, began to found what he then called the Association of the Holy Family.

On 27 October 1793 a boy, Pierre Bienvenu, was born to Pierre Noailles and Madeleine Ricard in Bordeaux. He was the eighth of ten children seven of whom survived into adulthood. It was at the height of the Terror that followed the French Revolution.

After a prolonged and painful illness, bravely and patiently endured, Fr Noailles died on 8 February 1861. His last message to those gathered at his bedside was:

“Have but one heart, one mind, one will – to make Our Lord loved and to win all hearts to him. Then, this good Master will dwell in your midst, and the Holy Family Association, faithful to its mission, will continue to do good upon the earth.”

A new Family in the Church

Ordained priest on 5 June 1819 in the parish church of St. Sulpice in Paris, he celebrated his first Mass the following day, Trinity Sunday. He was appointed curate in the parish of St. Eulalie, Bordeaux, in August of that year. He continued to carry in his heart the divine inspiration received in the seminary about his great devotion to the Holy Family. He interpreted it as a sign when, shortly after his arrival in Bordeaux, three young girls who wanted to give themselves to God came to him for Spiritual Direction.

Fr Noailles asked the advice of experienced people and heartened by the encouragement of his bishop he brought them together officially to live in the community on 28 May 1820, the feast of the Blessed Trinity. This was the first community of the Association of the Holy Family which Fr Noailles continued to expand and develop by founding various constituent congregations, branches, and groupings until 1859.

His vision was to allow the expression of the Christian life in various forms.

The association is composed of:

  • Religious Sisters who perform active ministry in schools, hospitals, and parishes.

  • Religious Sisters who live a contemplative way of life.

  • Women who belong to the Secular Institute of the Holy Family of Bordeaux.

  • Lay Associates, who are committed to supporting the works of the Association.

  • Priest Associates, who cooperate in the work of the Association.

Fr. Pierre Bienvenu Noailles had received a beautiful intuition: to found a big Family in which all the vocations would find a place and which would respond to whatever needs were presented. On 8 of February 1988, the Church recognized the holiness of Pierre Bienvenu Noailles by declaring him Venerable.

Many graces and favors have been received through his intercession and We hope that he will be beatified soon.

Our Family has more than 4,000 members spread through out four continents: Priests, Contemplative and Apostolic religious, Consecrated Seculars, Lay Associates, families and beginning with Holy Family students Holy Family Children &Youth.

Our mission is to live COMMUNION, building FAMILY and in this way collaborate in the creation of a New Society according to the dream of the Founder. We are called to attend specially to the poorest and most needy