...By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
Sisters of Charity of New York to Stop Accepting New Members, Will Continue Mission
The Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul of New York, founded in 1846, have announced that they will no longer accept new members and are on a “path to completion.”
The decision was made in a unanimous vote at their 2023 general assembly, and the congregation has stated that they will continue to live their mission fully.
The Sisters of Charity Federation of North America has 14 member congregations, including the New York body, but inconsistent membership figures are reported on their website.
The New York sisters will continue to promote vocations and will refer any inquiries to Sisters of Charity federation congregations and the Religious Formation Conference.
The congregation has a 200-year-old history and dates back to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who founded the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph in Emmitsburg, Maryland, in 1809.
Seton sent three Sisters of Charity to New York City in 1817 to care for orphans.
The New York congregation was founded as an independent community in 1846.
The Sisters of Charity have opened or staffed 185 schools, 28 hospitals, 23 child care institutions, and other ministries to serve those in need in their time in New York.
The New York congregation sponsors the College of Mount St. Vincent and the Sisters of Charity Housing Development Corporation, which provides affordable housing for various communities.
While the congregation has decided to stop accepting new members, they still believe in the future of religious life.
The sisters will continue to grow in love, deepen their relationships with each other, with associates, ministry partners, and God.
Their mission will continue beyond their sisters, through their associates and partners in ministry, expanding what it means to live the charism of charity into the future.
The announcement by the Sisters of Charity of New York is significant, as it marks yet another congregation deciding to cease accepting new members and eventually closing its doors.
It reflects the reality that religious communities in the U.S. are facing declining membership and an aging population.
The decision to promote vocations and refer inquiries to other congregations is a positive step, but it also underscores the need for continued efforts to support and encourage vocations to religious life.
The Sisters of Charity have a rich history of serving those in need, and their mission will continue through the good works of their associates and partners in ministry.