Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati
|Margaret Cecilia Farrell George|
Sisters of Charity of Cincinatti
The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati is an apostolic Catholic women's religious community of more than 450 members and approximately 170 associates. The Sisters minister in 33 dioceses in the United State and and Guatemala in health care, education and social services.
In 1829, four Sisters of Charity from Emmitsburg traveled 15 days by stage coach  to Cincinnati at the request of the local bishop, Edward D. Fenwick, first Bishop of Cincinnati. It was the first permanent foundation of a women's religious community in the Diocese of Cincinnati, which at that time encompassed the Northwest Territory of the United States (ultimately, the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin; see map at right). The Sisters opened St. Peter's School and Orphanage for Girls in October, 1829.
Cincinnati experienced serious cholera epidemics in 1832-33 and in the summer of 1849. The Sisters responded by providing health care and by caring for suddenly increased numbers of orphans. 
The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati formed a diocesan community on March 25, 1852. After superiors at Emmitsburg decided in 1850 to establish formal affiliation with the Daughters of Charity based in France, seven Sisters in Cincinnati, including Superior Margaret Cecilia Farrell George voted to decline affiliation on the basis that their foundress, Elizabeth Seton, intended that the community she founded be based in America. Sister Margaret George was elected first Mother Superior of the community.
Soon after foundation of the diocesan community, the Sisters opened an orphanage for boys. A mission in Dayton, Ohio was established in 1857.
At the outbreak of the American Civil War, the Sisters volunteered as nurses. More than one-third of the community, which by then had more than one hundred members, served. Sister Anthony O'Connell became known as the "Angel of the Battlefield".
After the Civil War ended, Sisters went to Santa Fe, New Mexico to open St Vincent Hospital, the first hospital in the New Mexico territory. Their work in education and health care expanded throughout the American West.
The College of Mount St. Joseph was opened in 1920.
In the 1920s the Sisters changed from a diocesan community to a papal community; their Constitution received final approval in 1928.
An Associates program began in 1973.
Mission Statement, Vision Statement, Charism Statement
The Mission Statement of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati is:
Urged by the charity of Christ, we Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, strive to give compelling witness to Christ's active presence by doing justice, expressed as loving trust shaping all our relationships, and as sharing our individual and Congregational resources for the liberation of the oppressed.
The Vision Statement of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati is:
Because we Sisters of Charity dwell in this house of love and encounter God, we commit ourselves to this Vision statement:
As a community of charity, living the gospel as expressed in the charism of Elizabeth Seton and Margaret George we will strive to be persons who:
- choose to live simply in a complex world committed to the healing of our global home
- embrace cultural expansion in membership and ministry
- learn from and are in solidarity with the poor
- risk being prophetic in church and society
- journey together toward wholeness
We make this commitment imbued with a deep faith in the active presence of God and strengthened by prayer, friendship and community.
The Charism Statement of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati is:
True to the spirit of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Margaret Cecilia George, and all who share our heritage, we Sisters of Charity are called to be faithfilled women of the Church. Like Elizabeth we are called to be vitalized by Scripture and Eucharist; with her we are called to fidelity to the Church, to reliance on the Spirit, and to life through love and friendship. We vow our lives to our God with whom we walk in humility, simplicity, and charity. As pilgrims we pray for the wisdom to know the needs of our sisters and brothers and we dare to risk a caring response.
Some of the ministries of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati include:
- Bayley Place - services for seniors
- College of Mount St. Joseph
- Eldermount - day care for senior adults
- Light of Hearts Villa - residential living for seniors
- Seton Family Center - mental health services for family
- Seton High School
- Spirituality Center
- Fortin, Roger Antonio. Faith and Action: A History of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 1821-1996. Ohio State University Press, 2002. p. 38
- Ibid., p. 128