Father Aloysius Faller founded the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Bellemangy, France, in 1851, with an apostolate to the sick, the poor and the children. They were called to make reparation for the sins of the world through their service and perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Initially, the Sisters were trained in the Rule of St. Benedict and its focus on prayer, service and hospitality.
On October 12, 1872, by the request of New Orleans Archbishop Napoleon Joseph Perche', Father Louis Blanc received a small bank of these Sisters under the leadership of Mother Mary Augustine Frey. Mother Augustine spoke fluent French, Spanish and German; there was no language barrier for her or her sisters. The Sisters began their apostolate duties at once which included teaching 40 black students by day. At night, they gave private lessons to white students. Added to this, they would also spend their evenings preparing black adults for reception of the sacraments, a task they would perform for white adults on weekends. By 1879, the community had grown in number and into a separate Province with convents and schools in Louisiana, Okalahoma, Mississippi, Florida, Virginia, Alabama and Bocos del Toro, Panama. In 1892, this Province was recognized as a separate Religious Congregation, no longer affiliated with France, though they still retained the Congregation's name.
Women came from France, Germany, Ireland and throughout the United States to join the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Many came as missionaries, some trying to escape religious persecution, but they all came to answer the call to further the mission of the Catholic Faith, primarily as educators. For 50 years, New Orleans remained the Community's headquarters. It was truly a melting pot for the Sisters.
In 1922, the Novitiate was moved to Lafayette, Louisiana. In 1924, the Sisters discontinued the practice of Perpetual Adoration. In the 1930's, to reflect the change in the tradition of Perpetual Adoration, the name of the community was officially changed to Sisters of the Most Holy Sacrament and the Motherhouse was also moved to Lafayette. It is also noted that in 1923, the last group of European girls arrived in the United States to enter the Congregation.
The Sisters of the Most Holy Sacrament grew in number over the next four decades expanding their ministry in schools, both Parish-owned and Community-owned boarding schools, to over 200 Sisters ministering in 34 schools in 10 Dioceses.
In the early 1960's, Vatican II called for communities to "return to the spirit of the founders and to analyze ways to serve in contemporary society." This directive allowed communities to focus more attention on individual talents and formation of new apostolates. It brought about drastic changes in many religious communities in the 1970's and 1980's and the Sisters of the Most Holy Sacrament experienced many of those changes. Individual Sisters participated in the directive and discerned ways in which God called them to service.
In 1982, after meetings with the Vicar of Religious Life in New Orleans and Bishop Gerald Frey of Lafayette, a small group of Sisters answered God's call for change in a unique way and left the Sisters of the Most Holy Sacrament and founded a new community. Retaining the Eucharistic charism, they chose the name "Sisters of the Eucharistic Covenant." On December 8, 1984, Sisters Carmelita Latiolais, Celeste Larroque, Camille Martinez, Jeannette Touchet, and Doris Ann Roy, with the approval of Bishop Gerald Frey, professed vows before the community's Spiritual Director, Monsignor James Doiron. Their perpetual vows were celebrated before Bishop Harry Flynn on December 7, 1987.
Today, the Sisters of the Eucharistic Covenant ministries develop from the traditional works of education, health care and social work. The Sisters serve as educators, administrators, social workers, pastoral service ministries and musicians in the Dioceses of Lafayette, Lake Charles and Shreveport, Louisiana.
The Sisters of the Eucharistic Covenant Associate Program was founded in the Spring of 1995. This program answered the call that lay people, married and single, men and women, have expressed, and special spiritual connection with the Sisters of the Eucharisitic Covenant, and a need for direction in their own spiritual growth.
Today, more than 140 SEC Associates through spiritual activities and service to the people of God, help to fulfill the mission of the Sisters of the Eucharistic Covenant, enabling others to discover Christ's Presence in their lives and in the lives of others.