Four provinces of the Daughters of Charity unite, announce new province and new leader

The Daughters of Charity, one of the largest groups of vowed religious in the world, announce the formation of a new province for their community by uniting four provinces in the U.S. and Canada into what will be known as the Province of St. Louise.

The process of unification called Visioning for the Mission began in 2007 with a gathering of the Daughters of Charity from all of the uniting provinces in Buffalo, N.Y., and a plan was developed to make their vision a reality.

The new province is named for St. Louise de Marillac, foundress of the Daughters of Charity along with Saint Vincent de Paul.  The four provinces of Emmitsburg, Md., Albany, N.Y., St. Louis, Mo., and Evansville, Ind., have chosen St. Louis as the location of their new Provincial home and offices.

The Daughters of Charity have as their rule that they are sent on mission.  Being available to meet the needs of persons who live in poverty requires great mobility. St.  Louis allows for that mobility with adequate access to public transportation.

After consultation with all of the sisters in the uniting Provinces (580 sisters), Sister Louise Gallahue, presently the visitatrix, i.e. leader, of the Albany Province, has been designated by the Superioress General, Sister Evelyne Franc, and the General Council to be the first visitatrix of the new province, the Province of St. Louise.  Sister Louise has been the Visitatrix in Albany since September of 2009 when she was appointed to replace Sister Kathleen Appler, now a member of the General Council. Previously, Sister Louise had been the visitatrix of the Albany Province from 1993-2002.  Sister Louise has also been Chair of the Board at Saint Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, CT, where she spent the seven years between her terms as visitatrix.

The Daughters of Charity were founded in France in 1633 by St. Vincent de Paul and St.  Louise de Marillac for a very specific mission, a mission that remains as necessary today as it was then: To serve Christ in persons who are poor.

The Daughters of Charity serve in 92 countries as educators, health care professionals, social workers, parish ministers and advocates for those who live in poverty.  The Daughters of Charity are uniting four of the five U.S. provinces primarily for this compelling reason: to continue to serve God’s poorest directly in their ministry throughout 22 of 34 states within the Provincial boundaries, the District of Columbia and Quebec, and to continue collaboration with others in the Vincentian family including members of the Vincentian priests and brothers, the Ladies of Charity, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Sisters of Charity Federation Communities and others who follow in the footsteps of St. Vincent and St. Louise.

The Daughters believe that combining sister-personnel and their “best practices” would be the most effective way to continue to stand in solidarity with the increasing numbers who find themselves in circumstances of poverty.

The new province will be incorporated in July 2011.

For more information regarding the establishment of the Province of Saint Louise, please contact Danielle Cummings at (315) 470-1476.

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