The Congregation of the Servants of Jesus and Mary grew out of the work of the Catholic Scouts of Europe (Katholische Pfadfinderschaft Europas, KPE) in Germany. The KPE was founded by Günther Walter and Fr. Andreas Hönisch SJ in 1976 as a youth organisation, in which the scouting method could be lived according to the proven pedagogy of Lord Baden Powell, the founder of the scout movement, and in which scouting groups could maintain the normal practice of the catholic faith.
The Catholic Scouts of Europe (Katholische Pfadfinderschaft Europas - KPE) is a scouting federation in Germany, which belongs to the international umbrella organisation of the Union Internationale des Guides et Scouts d’Europe (UIGSE). It was recognised by the European Parliament in 1984 and by the Pontifical Commission for the Laity in 2003.
From the beginning, the Catholic Scouts of Europe were a rich source of religious vocations, and young men went on from the KPE to diocesan seminaries or various religious orders to prepare for priestly ministry.
However, it soon became clear how difficult it would be for these seminarians to continue to remain active in youth-work. Even after priestly ordination, the diverse pastoral needs of parishes made it impossible in most cases to continue the regular care of scouting groups.
Realising this, in 1988 three adult scouts from the KPE turned to Fr. Hönisch with the idea of founding a new religious community, in which it would be possible to combine better priestly ministry with youth work. Fr. Hönisch, who had already been thinking about similar plans for many years, assented. And so, on the evening of the 30th of May 1988, the feast of St. Joan of Arc, the first candidates of the future religious order moved to Wickstadt (near Friedberg in Hessen). The SJM had been founded.