About the Sisters of Charity
March 20187 Fact Sheet [printable version]
The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati is an apostolic Catholic community of women religious that exists to carry out the Gospel of Jesus Christ through service and prayer in the world.
• 1809 - The Sisters of Charity were founded by St. Elizabeth Bayley Seton in Emmitsburg, Md.
• 1829 - Four Sisters of Charity first came to Cincinnati.
• 1852 - Mother Margaret Farrell George founded the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, a separate community from the Sisters in Emmitsburg.
• 1975 - Elizabeth Ann Seton canonized a saint.
As part of a Catholic Day of Action with Dreamers, dozens of Sisters, priests and lay people participated in a planned act of civil disobedience at the U.S. Capital Rotunda on February 27, 2018, to persuade lawmakers to protect undocumented immigrants, Dreamers, who were brought to this country as children.
"It's a moral moment of truth," said Sister of Charity Tracy Kemme, "and it's worth it to us to try to raise the consciousness of our legislators. As a Catholic, my end goal would be comprehensive immigration reform that keeps families together."
(From left) S. Jean Miller, S. Tracy Kemme, Associate Deb Rose Milavec and S. Andrea Koverman participated in a peaceful protest in Washington, D.C. in February to urge Congress to protect Dreamers.
The Leadership Council of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati includes (front row, from left) Sister Louise Lears, SC, councilor; Sister Marge Kloos, SC, councilor; (back row, from left) Sister Mary Bookser, SC, councilor; Sister Joan Elizabeth Cook, SC, president; and Sister Mary Caroline Marchal, SC, councilor.
The four-year term of the elected governing body runs through June 30, 2019.
Currently, 281 members of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati serve in 20 U.S. dioceses (12 states) and two foreign countries. A total of 230 Sisters serve in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Ministries include education, health care, retreat work, parish, social work, ministry of prayer and congregational service. More specifically, Sisters minister in elementary, high school and university education, chaplaincy, justice education and advocacy, health care, retreat work, prison and jail ministry, parish and pastoral ministry, social services, counseling, earth and sustainability ministry, spiritual direction, formation ministry, congregational services and the ministry of prayer.
The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati are joined by 198 Associates, lay women and men, who reside throughout the United States. The Sister/Associate relationship was established in 1973 so that individuals could partner with the Sisters in responding to the Gospel in the spirit of St. Elizabeth Bayley Seton.
Since the Community was founded, the Sisters of Charity have sponsored numerous schools, hospitals, orphanages and social service agencies. They continue to sponsor the following ministries, which are all in Cincinnati.
Seton High School (1854) is a comprehensive, Catholic high school for girls. Originally founded as Mount St. Vincent Academy, it was renamed Seton High School in 1927.
St. Joseph Home (1873) is a residential facility for children and adults with severe mental and multiple physical disabilities. Founded as St. Joseph Infant Asylum, it also served for many years as St. Joseph Infant and Maternity Home.
Mount St. Joseph University (1920) is a coeducational, Catholic liberal arts university serving 2,300 students.
Bayley (1989) is a continuing care retirement community that offers a full spectrum of lifestyle options that promote engagement, wellness and vitality. Bayley offers progressive services for adults through two service lines: Bayley Access, a collection of programs enabling older adults still living at home to enjoy community and fellowship, and Bayley Living, which provides varied residential options for mature adults of all faiths.
DePaul Cristo Rey High School (2009) provides an opportunity for young women and men with economic need to obtain a Catholic, college preparatory education made affordable through an innovative corporate work study program.
After a long history of sponsoring hospitals and a health-care system, the Sisters of Charity joined with 10 other congregations in 1996 to create and sponsor Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national health-care organization.