The story of the Korean foundation of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul of Suwon traces their origin from Paderborn Germany. Interestingly the names of their cities are the same meaning that of “springhead”.
This year they celebrate the 50th jubilee of the congregation (1965-2015) with the theme “Life for the world through the mercy of God.” Since its origin they have been called “Charity sisters”, going back to the source with gratitude and commemoration. They cherish more the spirit of compassion and forge ahead to be the witness of the Mercy of God.
In 1965, three sisters were sent to South-Korea in the spirit of Vatican II. This was in response to the request of Bishop Victorino Yun, the first bishop of the Diocese of Suwon which had been founded in 1963. He wanted to have the Sisters of Charity for the needs of the growing Catholic population in his diocese where there was a lack of Catholic institutions especially of medical care. These first Sisters of Charity carried out their mission of evangelization through St. Vincent’s Hospital. It was an ideally modern hospital in 1967 with 180 beds, the latest technology including free service.
In 1990, 25 years later the community had grown enough possessed the capacity to manage the mission in Korea by themselves. Through the consultation with Diocese of Suwon, Sr. Odilgard, Superior General of that time, followed the process to let them become independent from the Paderborn community. Now the Congregation is of Diocesan Right and the Generalate is located in Suwon. They are part of the Vincentian Federation based in Europe, whose members are united by the common bond of Saint Vincent de Paul as patron.
Their particular mission is compassionate care for the sick, the poor. With the emblem of the congregation as the opened crucifix the Sisters’ service continues to expend in and beyond Korea to Asia. On the 40th anniversary of mission in Korea, in 2005, the mission reached out to Asia – particularly the most needy countries. At the present time they have missions in Bangladesh, Myanmar, the Philippines and the United States. Like St. Vincent, the Sisters strive for a life of generous personal commitment to become a sign of the compassionate love and mercy of God in the world.