The Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul

The Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul was found at Mananthavady in 1975 by The "Soeurs de La Charite" (Sisters of Charity) of Strasbourg, France, founded by Cardinal Armand Gaston de Rohan Soubise, Bishop of Strasbourg, in 1734, for the care of the sick and needy particularly the poor. The Congregation, popularly known as Vincentians, grew rapidly and spread from Strasbourg (France) to Germany, Austria and Italy. The houses founded in these countries developed themselves into independent foundations of the same Congregation. Inspired by the teachings of Vatican II, the Congregations sought ways and means to come again in close association with each other. This common endeavor led finally in November 1970 to the formation of Federation of Vincentian Congregations.

Individual Sisters engaged in a variety of parish and pastoral ministries like helping and preparing the faithful in receiving sacraments, teaching catechism, sharing fellowship leading various groups such as legion of Mary, Mission league, Vincent de Paul Society, etc. Our pastoral work creates a compassionate and supportive environment in rural and city parishes. The Sisters take leadership roles by participating in pastoral councils and in the formation of lay leaders in parishes and deaneries. We have the expertise in liturgy, spiritual accompaniment and styles of prayer, counseling, adult education, sacramental preparation, etc, for Sisters are well-trained and multi-skilled, and work ecumenically very effectively.

SCVs give special emphasis to the healing ministry of the Church. Following charism of St. Vincent de Paul we care for the sick in hospitals, dispensaries and at health care centers. Reading the signs of times, we extend our services to the mentally challenged people, drug addicts, alcoholics and victims of HIV/AIDS. Louise Mount Hospital in Wayanad offers excellent health services to the mentally challenged people. This hospital is the only one of its kind in Wayanad which caters to acute psychiatric cases and provides long term custodial care for chronic mental patients. Similarly, the Sisters began in 1989 a centre for treating drug and alcohol addicts, namely St. Vincent's hospital, Mananthavady, Wayanad.

Rural Organization for Social Service (SCV ROSS ) is the pivotal attempt of SCVs for social service in Andhra Pradesh in order to work towards building up a peaceful and just society through the empowerment of the poor and marginalized with special focus on women, destitute and children to help the people to help themselves.

The SCV give importance to family apostolate and through home visits. The Sisters spent time with the housebound, bedridden and women, helping them to feel that they are wanted. Through family apostolate SCVs try to build a community of faith, help the Catholics and non-Catholics to encounter the living Jesus in the family, surroundings and in their lives. The SCVs nurture the hunger for God by joining with the poor, the sick and needy in prayer and action.

SCV Sisters are also working in the schools, taking care of the overall development of the children and trying to involve the parents in their children's education.

Empowerment of the hostel for girls and working women are necessary to help them to cope with the changes and promote over-all awareness. The hostel run by the SCV serve as home away from homes at all places where schooling and job facilities are available. Some girls stay more than 8 years in the hostels. Over-all development of the girls is given utmost importance.

The purpose of home for the children and aged is to make them believe that they have someone to care for them. The sisters take care of the children from broken families, help them to learn values and thus they may become good citizens of our society. The elderly members of our society who seek a place to live at end of their worldly life are taken care with utmost respect so that they may feel comfortable.

Today, the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul, Mananthavady, is a congregation of consecrated life of pontifical right in the Syro Malabar Church. We have 258 Sisters in the congregation spread out in 24 branch houses, built predominantly in rural, semi-urban and underdeveloped areas to fulfill our apostolic services in India. Out of these 24 houses, 15 are in Kerala, 2 in Andhra Pradesh, 2 in Telangana, 2 in Karnataka, 3 in Northeast India (Assam, Tripura & Meghalaya),and 2 in USA.

Origin of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and the member Congregations of the Federation From Strasbourg/France Through Germany To India