Since 1969, when the Province of the West was formed, we have carried on that revered tradition in our ministries.
Our Heritage Story embraces all of our Sisters who have gone before us in faith, service and—most of all—charity.
In 1852, and again in 1856, each one of our predecessors answered a calling that brought them to the western edge of our continent, settling in northern and southern California to provide a voice for the voiceless. Their challenges were plentiful, but divine grace sustained them as they endured hardships and prospered in the name of those whom they served. Many of the hospitals, schools and communities they created still exist and continue to thrive today. We, the Daughters of Charity, Province of the West, live our mission each and every day in communion with the timeless legacy of our founders, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
In 1633 Vincent de Paul, a humble French priest, and Louise de Marillac, a widow, established the Company of the Daughters of Charity as a group of women dedicated to serving the “poorest of the poor.” Prayer and community life were essential elements of their vocation of service.
Almost two centuries later, Elizabeth Seton, the American foundress of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph, adapted the rule of the French Daughters of Charity for her Emmitsburg, Maryland community. In 1850, the Emmitsburg community united with the international community based in Paris.
Today, the Daughters of Charity are an international community of over 19,000 Catholic women ministering all over the world. The Daughters of Charity still serve the “poorest of the poor.” Their ministry touches those in need through education, health care, social and pastoral services.
The life of a Daughter of Charity is animated first of all by the LOVE OF CHRIST founded on an interior experience of Him, nourished by personal, sacrament and communal prayer.
Fraternal life is one of the basic supports of the vocation of the Daughters of Charity. This fraternal life is lived in a local community, where the Sisters collaborate in faith and joy, bear witness to Jesus Christ, and continually strengthen one another for the good of the mission.
The Daughters of Charity commit themselves to live intensely in the charism of their founders St. Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac, by constantly re-evaluating and re-defining their response to the needs of the poor. Today, Daughters of Charity reach out to victims of hunger, homelessness, and war, substance abuse, the sick, broken families, refugees, at-risk youth, and persons living with HIV/AIDS. Tomorrow, who knows? Wherever the need arises, Daughters will respond to love and serve.
Continue learning more about us at our international website. http://filles-de-la-charite.org/home