The Confraternity of Christian Mothers
of St. John The Baptist


Thank you for your interest in the Confraternity of Christian Mothers!  We meet monthly  (unless otherwise indicated in the bulletin) for Holy Mass, community prayers, a spiritual conference by Canon, and social time.  Solemn receptions are held once a year.  Those interested in the Confraternity are welcome to join monthly meetings to discern whether they would like to enroll.  Please read through this Welcome Packet to answer some general questions about the Confraternity.  You may reach out to the Officers at ( with any additional questions.

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!


What strikes us particularly about the origin of the Christian Mothers’ Confraternity is that it was so spontaneous.  It was not something that was foisted upon Catholic women, but something that grew out of themselves.  It was one of those providential movements of the lay apostolate by which the Holy Spirit so often renews the spirit of the Church or of some group within the Church

It was at a time, in the middle of the 19th century, when the modern forces undermining family life first began to lift their heads, that the Christian Mothers reacted in a spiritual and spiritualizing movement.  It was a movement of self-defense and self-preservation.

In various parts of France, and especially in Lille, mothers began to gather to pray with and for one another, and their children, to discuss their problems and to advise one another regarding the Christian rearing of their children.

The movement gradually solidified, and on May 1, 1850, the first conference of Christian Mothers was held in Lille, France, under the leadership of Louise Josson de Bilhem, the wife of a court official.  The mothers sought and found recognition from the bishop for their growing organization.  Once that approval was given, the organization grew by leaps and bounds, throughout France and the neighboring countries, and soon over a million women were enrolled as members.

At present there are six Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers in the world.  They are located in Paris, Rome, Regensburg (Ratisbon), Cracow, Einsiedeln, and Pittsburgh.  The society found its way to America at an early date, and on the 16th of January, 1881, the Confraternity of Christian Mothers canonically erected in St. Augustine’s Church (now known as Our Lady of the Angels Parish), 220-37th St., Pittsburgh, PA., was raised to the rank of an Archconfraternity with the right of affiliating other Confraternities wherever the Ordinary approved.

Since then over 3,400 Confraternities have been affiliated with the Pittsburgh Archconfraternity directed by the Capuchin Friars.


The Confraternity of Christian Mothers has for its object the Christian home education of children by truly Christian Mothers.  It plans to unite by the observance of its rules and regulations all Christian ladies, married or widowed, who are willing to assist one another to attain this noble purpose.  Under the special patronage of the “Mother of Sorrows” the members are encouraged joyously and hopefully to undertake the important task of training and sanctifying the young souls entrusted to their care.  They are schooled to edify one another by word and deed, to support one another by fervent prayer and thus become the mainstay of spiritual life within their own family, and a fruitful source of blessing to the community in which they live.  This is the principal aim of all Confraternities affiliated with the Archconfraternity.

Membership in the Confraternity of Christian Mothers

Becoming a Member

  • Who is Eligible?
    • “Any Catholic mother regularly attending Mass at St. John the Baptist shall be eligible for full membership.  Any Catholic woman, who is not a mother, may join as an associate member.” (From the Bylaws of the Confraternity of Christian Mothers of St. John The Baptist
  • How to Become a Member
    • Attend meetings to discern if you wish to enroll as a member.
    • Enrollment in the Confraternity occurs two times a year in May and September through a Solemn Reception Ceremony.
    • Upon enrollment, one’s name is recorded in the register of members.
    • Pay a one-time enrollment fee to cover the cost of items given to each newly enrolled member.
  • During the Solemn Reception Ceremony an Act of Consecration to Mary will be recited by the ladies to be enrolled. Father Director, will also ask the following questions:
    • Do you consecrate yourselves and your children from the bottom of your hearts to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Sorrows?
    • Will you honor and love her as your Mother, and instill the same affection into the hearts of your children?
    • Will you be truly Christian Mothers and try to make your children faithful members of the Catholic Church and followers of Jesus Christ?  Will you pray for them and make every sacrifice God may demand of you for the salvation of their souls?

Duties of Members

  • Pay annual dues
  • Pray the Daily Prayer for Children
  • Participate in monthly gatherings. This includes attending Mass, community prayers, a business meeting, a conference by Father Director, and social time.
    • It is understandable that one may not be able to attend every meeting due to one’s season in life; for example, a family illness or a new baby.
  • Pray for other members of the local Confraternity, as well as other members associated with Archconfraternity in Pittsburgh and those worldwide.
  • Use the Mother Love book as part of one’s own spiritual enrichment.

Benefits of Membership

  • Spiritual:
    • Mass is offered for members throughout the year and upon their death.
    • Prayers from members worldwide
    • Opportunity to gain plenary indulgences
  • Intellectual
    • Monthly conference from Father Director.  Example topics include the virtues, prayer, and motherhood.
    • Access to the Confraternity “store,” which includes the Mother Love book
  • Social:
    • Social time is provided at the end of each monthly meeting.  Be encouraged in the faith, motherhood, family life, and build friendship.

Transferring Membership

From the Manual for Directors and Officers:

“A public and solemn reception is no longer required, yet it can hardly be dispensed with.” (p. 28)

“At the reception, each woman should receive a Christian Mother Medal, the Conference Booklet of prayers, and a separate Daily Prayer card . …A Certificate of Membership is given to each member. …” (p.28)

Members transferring to another Confraternity need only present themselves to the Father Director in their new parish and mention their membership so that he may place their names on the Confraternity register.”  (p. 29)

“The Canon Law of the Church requires accurate registration of the names of the members in a well-bound book for the validity of membership.”  (p.75)

From the Bylaws of (St. John The Baptist) Confraternity:

“Those members paying yearly dues will be considered active members in the Confraternity and will be recorded in the official register sent to the National Office.”  (Article V, III)

An induction fee of $30 shall be paid upon enrollment into the Confraternity to cover the cost of the medal of the Sorrowful Mother, Handbook for Members, certificate of membership, and daily prayer card.”  (Article XII)

Dues of $5 shall be paid upon enrollment into the Confraternity and annually thereafter.”  (Article XII)

If you were enrolled at another Confraternity (i.e., your name was signed in the Confraternity’s Register of Members), you may sign your name in the parish Register of Members for accurate registration of your transferred membership.  Please contact Lady Secretary to find an agreeable time.  Annual dues will be collected upon transfer of membership and annually thereafter.  Additionally, all ladies of the Confraternity should have a Sorrowful Mother medal, Handbook for Members, and daily prayer card.  If any lady transferring her membership does not have these items, they can be purchased from Lady Treasurer at the time dues are paid.  All new medals purchased should be blessed by Father Director.

If you participated in a Confraternity previously but have not yet been enrolled, you may enroll in the Confraternity during the Solemn Reception Ceremony held (preference of your pastor/director in dialogue with the officers).  This is not considered a transfer of membership but an enrollment.  Any questions or clarifications may be directed to Lady President.

Contact Information For Confraternity Of Christian Mothers Of St. John The Baptist

St. John The Baptist Catholic Church

101 Findley Street, PO Box 10     New Baltimore PA  15553

Ph: 814-733-2210


Father Director:  Fr. Mark Pattock,  OFM Cap

Our Patroness:

Our Lady of Sorrows

Fatima Shrine In Memory Of Christian Mothers

In Memory of The Living and Deceased Members of St. John’s Confraternity Of Christian Mothers 1953

Contact Information For Confraternity Of Christian Mothers Of St. John The Baptist

St. John The Baptist Catholic Church

101 Findley Street, PO Box 10     New Baltimore PA  15553

Ph: 814-733-2210


Father Director:  Fr. Mark Pattock,  OFM Cap

Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers (Main Headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA)

220 37th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201


National Director:  Fr. Joseph Tuscan, OFM Cap


Click the image below to download the Welcome Packet 

Original Members.  Members From Left to Right:  Margaret Wambaugh, Rosemary Gardill, Mary Ellen Hankinson, Mary Kay Will and Bernadine Suttmiller

Original Members. Members From Left to Right: Margaret Wambaugh, Rosemary Gardill, Mary Ellen Hankinson, Mary Kay Will and Bernadine Suttmiller

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!