Each month, the Sisters of Charity Federation will be posting images from Charity Federation archives that demonstrate how these congregations “Welcome the Stranger Among Us,” the theme of the 400th anniversary of Vincentian charism. This first month, the photograph comes from the Archives of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati and illustrates the work of their Sr. Blandina Segale who is on her way to sainthood.
Sister Blandina Segale of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati is pictured here assisting a family at Santa Maria Institute in 1934. Sr. Blandina and her blood sister, Sr. Justina Segale, founded the Santa Maria Institute in 1897, a community and social service center whose initial focus was the recent Italian immigrants in Cincinnati.
Sister Blandina was widely known for her work advocating for girls who were trafficked in the Cincinnati area in the early 20th century. Around 1900, through her work at the Santa Maria Institute, Sister Blandina encountered a trafficking victim at the Cincinnati Hospital and, after hearing her story, sought out the home where she had been held captive and eventually pursued a criminal case against the operators, a feat unheard of at the time. In the 1922 book The Story of the Santa Maria Institute, the author Anna C. Minogue notes “there is not in Cincinnati any organization that has expended stronger efforts for the overthrow of commercialized vice than the Santa Maria Institute.”
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Source: Sisters of Charity Federation