Section title text:  Our Spirit.

Gumley House Convent, the Generalate

The Generalate, the home and place of work of the central administration of the Faithful Companions of Jesus, is at Gumley House Convent, Isleworth, in West London. 

Front of Gumley House.

Gumley House was built about 1700 and the property was bought by Marie Madeleine in 1841.

Marble Hall from above.  Staircase leading up from the marble hall.  

At different times in the Society’s history, for reasons of political security or convenience of administration, the Generalate  has been at Carouge, Ste Anne d'Auray, Paris, Brussels and Stella Maris, Broadstairs.

The Generalate was moved from Broadstairs to London in October 2012.

The Society’s Archives are housed in the Generalate and there is a small Heritage Collection.

The picture on the right shows the mandala painting, a visual expression of the Society’s charism and spirit.


There is a large,
successful school
on the same campus.

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Society Archives

The FCJ Generalate Archives is located at Gumley House.  Its purpose is:
In the Gumley archives.

The archives contain the substantial records of the foundress, Marie Madeleine Victoire de Bengy de Bonnault d’Houët.  Much of the remainder of the collection comprises the records generated and maintained in the government and administration of the Society by successive General Superiors up to 2003.  

Any enquiries can be addressed to:
The General Secretary
FCJ Generalate
Gumley House Convent
Twickenham Road, Isleworth
Middlesex ENGLAND TW7 6DN

(44)(0)208 232 9570 

Whilst the Archive is private, and as such, is not open on demand, it may be made accessible to the public by arrangement with the archivist and according to the FCJ Archive Policy. 

Samples of Marie Madeleine's handwriting.

Samples of Marie Madeleine's handwriting ... where she copied the Constitutions of the Jesuits

Pictures of the first voyage to Canada ... before cameras!

Pictures of the first voyage to Canada - 1883... sent by the travellers in the days before cameras!

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Some items in the collection.

Heritage Collection

This collection contains papers and artefacts relating to the life of Marie Madeleine and the history of the FCJ sisters.

For example:

The coffee pot, tea pot and cruets which belonged to Marie Madeleine and which were given by her to Gumley House Convent in Isleworth. 

Coffee pot.   Tea pot.   Cruets.

Explanation of cruets:
A cruet is a small jug used for serving oil and vinegar, for example, at the table or for holding wine and water at Mass. Cruets were often highly decorative, made of blown glass which was etched or of cut glass. When designed as part of a set for the table, the set included cruets for condimients such as salt, pepper, dry mustard, sugar, etc.

 

The crucifix given to Marie Madeleine by Father Nérinckx

Crucifix given to Marie Madeleine, front view.       Crucifix, side view.

This  crucifix was given to the Foundress, Marie Madeleine, by Fr Nerinx, the priest who in November 1830 entrusted to her the charity school and church in Somers Town, London, England.  She subsequently presented the crucifix  to a parent of one of the first students at Gumley House, Isleworth, London, England.  It seems that this student went to Australia and gave it to Vaucluse,  Richmond, the first FCJ community in Australia.  Reverend Mother Philomena Higgins brought the crucifix back to Gumley in 1922. 

 

Marie Madeleine’s writing desk:

Portable writing desk.

This is a well-used example of a 19th century portable writing desk, which could be carried easily from room to room and used at a table. Marie Madeleine used this desk when staying at Gumley House, Isleworth, England.

 

Handwritten copy of pages from our first consitutions written in Marie Madeleine's lifetime:

Constitution pages, Parts I-III.

Constitutions pages, Parts IV-VI.

Constitutions pages, Parts VII-IX

Constitutions, Part X and testimony of M. Marie de Bussy fcJ.

The Constitutions of St. Ignatius, called by Marie Madeleine, dearer to her than life itself, was the Rule she wanted for her Society of Faithful Companions. The pictures from the Archives show her own handwritten copies which were subsequently transcribed within her lifetime by another Sister. The first pages of the latter copy of the ten parts of the Jesuit Constitutions are shown above, together with a testimonial to their authenticity by M. Marie de Bussy fcJ and dated 1891.

 

Samples of art work created by the sisters in the 19th Century:

Samples of 19th century artwork.

Further samples of artwork.

The creative spirit of the Sisters of the 19th century lives on in a variety of ways today; some samples are available in the creative corner of this website.

A folio of watercolour paintings and illuminations presented to Josephine Petit fcJ in 1885, on the 25th anniversary of her election as the second general superior of the Society. These paintings were done by by a gifted, though anonymous, FCJ sister in Paris.

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Let us ask Our Lord to give us the spirit of the Society of Jesus;
        since we have its Constitutions, it is God's will
                    that we should have its spirit.     (Marie Madeleine)