Friday, November 15, 2013

Are Ministries Directly Established by St. Vincent and St. Louise Still in Existence Today?

An interesting question was posed prior to our last Holy Hangout on YouTube: "Are there any services that were started by St. Louise and/or St. Vincent from the 17th century in Paris that are still in existence today?  If there are still places that St. Vincent or St. Louise started, what are they called and is there a place to learn about their history?"

We dug around for an answer, and thanks to some help from the Archives, here it is:
In general, Daughters of Charity are still present in some of the cities to which they were sent by the Founders. Those cities would be Paris, Angers, Metz, and Warsaw. The actual ministries, however, have changed as the needs changed. For example, in Metz the Sisters manage a home for the elderly. When they went there in the 1600s, they took care of the sick and elderly, yes, but also any other need the people had. 

"The Daughters of Charity Sent to Metz Performing the Corporal Works of Mercy" in a chapel in Metz

Another reflection concurs that Daughters of Charity are still in many of the areas where ministries first started, but the Sisters may only be living there but serving more directly nearby.

From Sister Judith, who joined us on the Holy Hangout:
"I think the lack of precise examples of works or institutions that have continued is a reflection of our charism.  Especially for the Daughters of Charity, we have been sent where there is a need, often worked without an institution and often in collaboration (think of the Sisters' collaboration, even dependence on, the Ladies of Charity in the beginning), passed works on to lay collaborators and moved on to more pressing needs.  Some of the hospitals where the first Sisters worked continue, but without us."
Check out some other questions and answers from the last Holy Hangout on our Facebook page.

Have another question about the Daughters of Charity or discernment? Chime in and we'll help find an answer!

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