Who We Are

Joined Together in the Mission of Charity

The Sisters of Charity Federation of North America [The Federation] is a voluntary membership association of 13 congregations of women religious that number over 2,700 sisters. Impelled by Christ’s love and joined together in the mission of Charity, we, the Sisters of Charity Federation, respond to the cries of people living in poverty and on the margins. Our mission in the Church continues the original values of Saint Vincent de Paul, Saint Louise de Marillac and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. 

The Sisters and Daughters of Charity serve throughout the United States, Canada and in 24 other countries in various capacities: Education and Administration, Social Services, Health Care, Senior Housing and Care for the Aged, Pastoral Care, Youth Services, Human Services and Homeless Shelters, Advocacy, Community Centers, Nonprofits, Inner-City Ministries and many more.

Member Congregations




The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul were founded in Paris in 1633 by St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac. In the 19th century, inspired by the work of these original Daughters, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton founded the first community of Sisters on American soil, known as the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s. In 1850, many years after the death of St. Elizabeth Ann, her community in Emmitsburg united with the Daughters of Charity in Paris. From this small beginning, the Sisters traveled West establishing their first California mission in San Francisco in 1852. The Province of Los Altos Hills is located in Los Altos Hills, California.

Today the Daughters serve in social services, health care, and education all throughout the state of California and in parts of Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Sisters also serve as foreign missionaries in the Congo and Kenya. The Daughters of Charity Province of Los Altos Hills is part of the worldwide Daughters of Charity community of more than 16,000 sisters living and working in more than 90 countries. The Daughters of Charity are given to God, in community, for the service of persons living in poverty.

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The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul were founded in Paris in 1633 by St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac. In the 19th century, inspired by the work of these original Daughters, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton founded the first community of Sisters on American soil, known as the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s. In 1850, many years after the death of St. Elizabeth Ann, her community in Emmitsburg united with the Daughters of Charity in Paris. The sisters established many provinces throughout the United States and then unified four of five of those provinces in 2011 to establish the Province of St. Louise, which is located in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Today the Daughters serve in a variety of ministries including social services, health care, education, prison ministry, immigrant services, anti-human trafficking, parishes and social justice ministries. The Daughters of Charity Province of St. Louise is part of the worldwide Daughters of Charity community of more than 16,000 sisters living and working in more than 90 countries. The Province of St. Louise sisters serve in 17 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and as missionaries on every continent except Antarctica and Australia. The Daughters of Charity are given to God, in community, for the service of persons living in poverty.

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Les Religieuses de Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Coeur was established in 1924 when several Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception women religious felt compelled to be in ministry with French-speaking Acadians. The sisters eventually settled in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada as the Sisters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

Today the sisters continue to minister to French-speaking Canadians in the areas of higher education and health care in New Brunswick, Canada. The sisters live and bear witness to the love of God within an apostolic community through direct service to those in need by putting the focus especially on those who have little knowledge or power.

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The Sisters of Charity began in 1829 when four sisters from Emmitsburg, Maryland opened St. Peter’s School and Orphan Asylum in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1852, with the support of Archbishop John Purcell, the Sisters in Cincinnati became a diocesan congregation. Under the leadership of Mother Margaret George, the Cincinnati community established schools, hospitals and social service agencies primarily located in Ohio, Michigan, New Mexico, and Colorado.

Today the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati continue to live out their mission by serving the people of God of every description in education, health services, and social services in 26 U.S. dioceses and in Guatemala, Mexico and the West Indies. They strive to live Gospel values by acting justly, building loving relationships, sharing their resources with those in need, and caring for all creation.

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The Sisters of Charity-Halifax began with a request from the bishop of Halifax to the Sisters of Charity of New York, for sisters to teach in his city. By 1856, the growing work and increasing numbers of young women wanting to join led to the establishment of an independent congregation, known as the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Today the sisters serve in traditional areas of education, health care and social services, as well as in soup kitchens, social justice advocacy, and activism at the United Nations. Sisters are living and serving in Canada, the eastern United States, Bermuda, Peru and Kenya. The mission of the Sisters of Charity-Halifax is to give joyful witness to love: the love of God, of one another, and of all persons.

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The Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception were established in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada as a response to the urgent needs of Irish orphans and immigrants. Bishop Thomas Connolly called on the New York novitiate of the Sisters of Charity for women to found the new community. Originally from Ireland, Honoria Conway had lived in Saint John before entering that novitiate and returned with three companions to establish the first English-speaking, Roman Catholic religious congregation founded in Canada in 1854.

Today sisters in Canada and one in Peru are committed to ministries of outreach, counseling, pastoral care, spiritual accompaniment and systemic change, advocating for social and ecological justice and peace. Associates of the congregation share and express the Charity charism.

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The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth were founded in 1858 by Mother Xavier Ross in Leavenworth, Kansas. Mother Xavier had responded to the initial request of Bishop John Baptist Miege to “come north” to the Midwest from Nashville, Tennessee.

Today the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth serve as educators, administrators, pastoral ministers, counselors and in other roles, serving people of all ages and with various needs. Sisters minister in the continental United States, Peru and South Sudan. Impelled by the love of Christ, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth live out their mission by offering every loving service in their power to meet the critical needs of God’s people.

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The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth began in 1812 out of response to Bishop Flaget’s call for young women willing to provide religious education for the children of Catholic families who had migrated to Kentucky from Maryland after the Revolutionary War. In 1822 the Sisters outgrew their one-room school at St. Thomas farm and, under the leadership of foundress Catherine Spalding, the sisters moved to Nazareth, Kentucky where they built a new school called Nazareth Academy.

Today the sisters continue to serve in education, as well as health care and social work. The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth live and work in ministry to an international, multicultural world, with three provinces across the globe: the Western Province of the U.S. and Belize, the Patna Province of Northern India and Nepal, and the Bangalore Province of Southern India. The sisters’ mission is “to work for justice in solidarity with oppressed peoples, especially the economically poor and women, and to care for the earth. We risk our lives and resources, both personally and corporately, as we engage in diverse ministries in carrying out this mission.”  

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In 1809, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton founded the first community of Sisters in the United States, known as the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s. In 1817, St. Elizabeth sent three of her sisters to New York City to open an orphanage, establishing the foundation of the Sisters of Charity in New York. Over the next 200+ years, the sisters met the challenges of the times and ministered to the needs of the sick, the poor and the orphaned.

Today the sisters serve in health care, human services, education, immigration advocacy, social services and ecological justice in New York, Louisiana and Maryland, as well as the country of Guatemala. The mission of the Sisters of Charity of New York is to share in the ongoing mission of Jesus by revealing the Father’s love in their lives and in their varied ministries with and for all in need, especially the poor.

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The Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy were founded in 1829 by Bishop John England, the first Bishop of Charleston, South Carolina. While in Baltimore attending the First Provincial Council, he met four women who were willing to return to Charleston with him and become founding members of a new congregation. Over the next 175+ years, the sisters opened schools, hospitals and social service agencies that would speak to their shared mission in Christ: Caring for the poor, the uneducated and the orphaned.

Today the sisters serve in education, parish ministry and senior ministry as well as sponsoring Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Services which serves people living in poverty. Deeply rooted in their shared heritage of humility, simplicity, and charity, the sisters joyfully reach into the future.

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The Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth began with a request from the first Bishop of Newark to have a community of women religious for his newly established diocese encompassing the whole state of New Jersey. Mother Mary Xavier Mehegan founded the New Jersey community in 1859 known as the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, which eventually located to Convent Station, New Jersey

Today the sisters are serving in education, health care, pastoral and social service ministries in 19 dioceses within the United States, in El Salvador and in Haiti. The mission of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ who came “to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.”

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The Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill was born out of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati congregation in 1870. Sister Aloysia Lowe and other Cincinnati sisters answered the bishop’s call to serve the needs of the growing Catholic population in Altoona, Pennsylvania. Eventually the sisters relocated to Greensburg, Pennsylvania and continued a long and rich history of establishing and staffing hospitals and schools. One academy became Seton Hill University.

Today sisters of the United States Province continue to meet the needs of a changing world ministering primarily in the areas of education, parish ministry and social services. The South Korean Province was established in 1960 and sisters there continue to minister in education, social work, retreat work, and with the physically disabled. The Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill is an international apostolic congregation of women religious who serve in nine U.S. states, South Korea, Israel, and Ecuador. Ministries of the congregation are guided by the prudent use of available resources, respectful of human dignity, protective of human rights, devoted especially to the poor and oppressed, rooted in faith, animated by prayer, supported by the common life, and performed in humility, simplicity and charity.

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The Sisters of St. Martha of Antigonish first responded to the Cry for Gospel Hospitality in 1900 at St. Francis Xavier University where they welcomed the students and priests by their presence and by providing the service of household management. The 15 founding members, originally an auxiliary order of the Sisters of Charity Halifax, were invited to establish themselves as a new and separate religious congregation in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada. It did not take long for the young congregation to hear and embrace a new cry for Gospel Hospitality as homemakers, nurses, teachers and social workers.

Today the Marthas strive to be pockets of hope in our world and are engaged in varied ministry settings, including retreats and spiritual direction, foot care, street ministry, pastoral care, social justice advocacy, ecological advocacy, hospitality and education. Sisters are ministering and serving throughout Nova Scotia, in Quebec and in Alberta, Canada. The Marthas are committed to living their mission of 'hearing, embracing, and responding to the cry for Gospel hospitality.'

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The only Island-born religious congregation, the Sisters of St. Martha of Prince Edward Island, Canada, was given birth by Bishop Henry O’Leary on July 17, 1916. Being ‘a man of vision’ he saw that the work of the church required expansion in social, educational and spiritual ways. Immediately he began recruiting interested lay women, and within the year four Island women left PEI to begin formal training with the Sisters of St. Martha of Antigonish.

Today the Marthas serve in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia and are engaged in varied ministries including spirituality programs, spiritual direction and retreats, ministry to the poor, addiction services, prison ministry, pastoral care, parish ministry, education, ecological justice, social justice advocacy and ministry to Indigenous peoples. The Marthas are committed to living their charism of simplicity, attentiveness and hospitality, serving the needs of the Church in a life consecrated to God in community. 

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