On December 1, 1812, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth were founded. Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget of the new diocese of Bardstown, Kentucky, along with Father John Baptist David had realized that there was a tremendous need for persons to offer various assistance, but particularly education to the thousand plus Catholic families and their children who had moved to Kentucky from Maryland after the Revolutionary War. The Sisters of Charity of Emmitsburg [the first American religious community of women] provided a model that these missionaries to Kentucky hoped to replicate. Father David put out a call for young women willing to devote their lives to the service of the Church. From among a group of six women that responded to the call, 19-year-old Catherine Spalding was elected first superior of the new community. Father David gave the Sisters his handwritten copy of St. Vincent de Paul’s rule as it was lived in Emmitsburg. A more in-depth article about Mother Catherine and the founding of the Sisters can be found on our sister site, vincentians.com.

Today the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth are a member of the Sisters of Charity Federation. From their Vimeo page:

The pioneer spirit of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth began in a log house in Kentucky. That spirit continues today in the United States and across the Indian Ocean, to the Himalayan mountains, over the Caribbean Sea, and to the Kalahari Desert, where you will find the Sisters as they continue to follow the vision of their foundress and the love of God, with creativity and perseverance.

Watch this beautiful video to learn more!

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