Infant Jesus Sisters (IJ)


Our Vision

As members of the IJ community,
we belong to the people of God.
God calls us to live according to the spirit of the Gospel.
Touched by this call we reach out
to those whose dignity has been damaged.
Following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ,
we seek to be present to people,
respecting the dignity of all being
and the identity of each and every one.
We seek to advance human and spiritual development for all,
creating on enabling environment to discern God’s call
We network with others to promote a more just and peaceful world
and search for ways to respond to global challenges,
with special attention to those in greatest need.
Ou sense of belonging is expressed in
our spirituality and sharing of faith,
the inter-relatedness of being,
the support we offer one another.
Relying on the power of God’s Spirit,
we seek to live in simplicity and availability,
freedom and courage,
with trust and joy in God who loves each and
every one unconditionally.


Nicolas Barre was born on 21st October 1621 in Amiens in France. He was educated by the Jesuits and was an outstanding student. A brilliant future was assured but Nicolas wanted to be a priest. He was attracted to the Minim order, whose motto was “Caritas” and its call to be ‘ least of all ‘.

In 1642 Nicolas was ordained a priest and taught theology in Paris as well as continuing his other work as a preacher and confessor. He grew in holiness and helped many people to discover God’s will in their lives. His own spiritual path was not an easy one. He struggled and suffered much, which brought him very close to God and gave him a deep understanding of the human spirit.

In 1659, he became ill and was sent, first to Amiens and then to Rouen, where the monastery was close to where the poorer families lived. Nicolas loved being among these people to whom he ministered as priest, preacher and confessor. He saw that many of them had no knowledge of God and no opportunities for education. He could see that they were caught in poverty trap that offered no way out. They were illiterate, spent much of their time in untrained work or roaming the streets. Sometimes they went out ot beg or even to steal in an effort to survive.

In 1662, Nicolas began to offer guidance and training to some generous young women, enabling them to teach the children in several locations around the area. These ‘little schools’ proved very successful and popular.

When he saw the dedication of these young women, he invited them to live together as a community, in a spirit of total trust in God’s providential guidance. They said a wholehearted ‘yes’ to this invitation and thus Institute of the Infant Jesus Sisters was born in 1666. Nicolas Barre had the courage and creativity at that time in history to give this community a rule of life that did not include the making of vows. Thus they were free to move and live close to the ordinary people and were not confined by the cloister as religious women were at that time. As time went on, they not only taught in the ‘small schools’, but also in trade schoos which would enable younger people to earn their living.

They also reached out to

  • young women who were struggling with the meaning of their lives
  • parents who had limited education and little sense of God
  • those who were seeking guidance in deeper prayer, including those who were sick or suffering.

Nicolas was invited to continue similar work in Paris, again with great success. As the needs grew, so did the need for formatin and training. A rented house in Rue St. Maur in Paris became the centre for the religious formation and professional training of the Sisters.

Nicolas Barre’s teachers became well-known for their experise and their gentle approach. Requests came from different parts of France to set up similar schools, to which Nicolas responded and the Sisters went wherever they were needed. He remained very much in touch with the everyday concerns and needs of the people to whom he ministered and became known throughout France as a gifted and sensitive preacher and spiritual director.

Nicolas Barre’s health, never too robust, was deteriorating and eventually he was confined to the infirmary in his Minim community. He continued to see people who came to visit him and to deal with the concerns of the Institute. With regard to the question of its future, he put all i God’s hands and prepared for death. This came on 31st May 1686. Three hundred years later, at his beatification on the 7th March 1999, we were reminded of his contemplative and courageous spirit. He was deeply motivated by the extraordinary of his contemplative and courageous spirit. He was deeply motivated by the extraordinary love of God for all humankind, who desires that all be saved and no one be lost.

Infant Jesus Community
17/D, Thalawady Road
7 miles, Mayangone Tsp, Yangon.
Tel : 01-660241, 09 5412308