- Occupation Religious organisation
The order of the Faithful Companions of Jesus Sisters (FCJ Sisters) was founded in Amiens in France in 1820 by Marie Madeleine de Bonnault d’Hoüet.
They arrived in Australia in response to requests from local priests for assistance in establishing a viable Catholic School system. The Education Act of 1872 spelt the end of government financial support for all religious and independent schools which meant that if the Catholic Church wanted to maintain existing schools and establish new schools, it had to find all necessary finance. The priests and bishops sought help from religious communities overseas.
In June 1882, 12 FCJ sisters arrived in Melbourne, Victoria where they soon founded a school in the inner city suburb of Richmond. Vaucluse College FCJ was soon at capacity, so land was purchased in Kew, to the east. They built a new convent and boarding school which marked the establishment of Genazzano FCJ College. In 1900 the Sisters set up a school in Benalla called FCJ College and in 1968 founded Stella Maris Convent and boarding school in Frankston, Victoria. The Stella Maris Convent and Vaucluse College FCJ have since closed.
In recent years, FCJ sisters have engaged in ministry abroad, in such places as Sierra Leone, Bolivia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Romania, as well as in remote communities in Australia, such as the Kimberley.