Faithful Companions of Jesus
The Faithful Companions of Jesus Sisters (FCJ Sisters, French: Fidèles compagnes de Jésus) was founded in Amiens in France in 1820 by Marie Madeleine de Bonnault d'Hoüet. They are a Christian religious institute of the Roman Catholic Church directly subject to the Pope.
The FCJ sisters first arrived in Australia in 1882 and soon founded a school in Richmond, an inner suburb in Melbourne. Vaucluse College FCJ was soon at capacity, so land was purchased in Kew. 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.
Today, FCJ communities exist around the country.
An interesting perspective on the FCJ sisters is given in God's Callgirl, the autobiography of Carla van Raay (Australia, 2004) in which the author describes joining the institute at the age of 18 in 1956, and her subsequent 12 years as a novice and sister, before voluntarily leaving at the age of 30. Vaucluse College FCJ, Genazzano FCJ College and Benalla are all mentioned in the book. This period coincided with Vatican II, which resulted in a number of strict rules being relaxed.
- Genazzano FCJ College, Melbourne
- FCJ College Benalla, Benalla, Victoria
- Vaucluse College, Richmond, Victoria (closed 2000)
- Bellerive FCJ Catholic College, Liverpool
- Gumley House Convent School, London
- Maria Fidelis RC Convent School, London
- Newlands School, Middlesbrough (merged with St David's School in 2009)
- Poles Convent, Ware, Hertfordshire (closed in 1986; merged with St Edmund's College)
- St Joseph's Convent, Hartlepool (now English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College)
- Upton Hall School, Upton, Merseyside
- Hollies Convent FCJ School, Manchester. Founded 1853, closed in 1985.