Urgent needs of Irish orphans and immigrants led to the founding of this Canadian community in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1854. Bishop Thomas Louis Connolly, OFM Cap. went to the New York novitiate of the Sisters of Charity to call for women to found the new community. Originally from Ireland, Honoria Conway had lived in Saint John (in Atlantic Canada) before entering that novitiate. She returned to establish the Sisters of Charity of Saint John with three companions. Their community life was guided by the rule of the Sisters of Charity in the Vincentian tradition, as adapted by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for North America.
The Sisters of Charity of Saint John became the first English-speaking Catholic congregation founded in Canada. In 1914, the community became pontifical with the new name, Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (SCIC), as it was founded the same year the Marian dogma was proclaimed.
SCIC missions spread throughout many parts of Canada, focusing on education, health care and social service among those who were sick, excluded and living in poverty. In 1967, responding to the call of the universal church, SCIC established missions in Peru. Today there are 72 SCIC in Canada, with one Sister in Peru.
SCIC have been active members of the North American Sisters of Charity Federation since 1979 (associate members, with full membership in 1981). Their mission includes commitment to systemic change, advocating for social and ecological justice and peace. SCIC Associates are guided by two national lay coordinators and share the Charity charism in the Atlantic, western Prairie and Pacific regions of Canada.
For more about SCIC and Associates, see http://sistersofcharityic.com
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