The Sisters of Christian Charity
What is The Sisters of Christian Charity?
The Sisters of Christian Charity (S.C.C.), officially called Sisters of Christian Charity, Daughters of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception, is a Roman Catholic papal congregation of consecrated Religious Sisters founded in Paderborn, Germany, in 1849 by the Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt for the care of the blind. Today, their main mission is teaching in Catholic schools and healthcare. Unlike some Religious Sisters, Sisters of Christian Charity are required to wear a traditional religious habit.
They were founded on 21 August 1849, by Mallinckrodt (b. 3 June 1817, at Minden, Westphalia; d. 30 April 1881), sister to the famous Hermann von Mallinckrodt. The institute had attained great success throughout Germany when, in 1873, its members were forced into exile by the persecution of the Kulturkampf.
Some went to South America, where there are now many flourishing communities. Others emigrated to New Orleans, United States, where, in April 1873, they founded a house and took charge of a parochial school. Mother Pauline followed shortly after and established a new provincial mother-house, at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The congregation was confirmed on 7 February 1888 by Pope Leo XIII.
Since then these Sisters have opened houses in the Archdioceses of Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Newark, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Saint Paul, and in the Dioceses of Albany, Belleville, Brooklyn, Harrisburg, Paterson, Sioux City, and Syracuse.
In 1910 the Sisters had in their establishments: 668 sisters, 46 novices, 25 postulants, conducting 2 academies, 54 parochial schools, 2 orphan asylums, and 1 industrial school. In 1887 the sisters were allowed to return to Germany. The motherhouse at Paderborn was reopened and the activities of the Sisters was extended with their former success throughout Germany. By 1910, there were also houses in Belgium and Bohemia.
In 1927, the North American Province was divided into a North American Eastern Province and a North American Western Province. The motherhouse for the Eastern province is located in Mendham, New Jersey, and the motherhouse of the Western province is located in Wilmette, Illinois. In 2005 the Assumption College for Sisters was founded at the motherhouse in New Jersey, for the education of Religious Sisters, especially those from developing nations.
The foundress of the congregation, Pauline von Mallinckrodt, was beatified by Pope John Paul II in Rome on 14 April 1985. The cause for the canonization of Blessed Pauline is currently being examined by the Vatican. The current Superior General of the congregation is Sister Adalberta Mette, S.C.C.
By 2010, Sisters of Christian Charity were present in Germany, Italy, the United States, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, and the Philippines.
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