The work of the Religious Sisters of Charity
In 1802 our foundress, Mary Aikenhead, was inspired by the Lazarus and Dives story from St Luke’s Gospel (16:19-31). It is the founding story of our Congregation and it led to Mary Aikenhead’s decision to dedicate her life to the service of the poor.
Embracing the Story of Mary Aikenhead
In 2019 at the 31st General Chapter the Congregation was challenged to embrace the story anew and discover its meaning for today.
When delegates came together from every part of the Congregation to meet with the theme: “Open our eyes to see the New Dawn and our hearts to our Common Call. Pray, Reflect, Consult.”
We commit ourselves to
- Embrace each other in love as sisters, RSCs, united in mind and heart
- Collaborate together and with our colleagues in mission and ministry, in being advocates for a world where justice towards all creation is embraced
- Be responsible stewards of all God’s gifts
- Exercise responsible and empowering leadership
- Value diversity in all its forms as we live out our charism
- Live with a loving and compassionate heart
- Commit ourselves once more to be a voice for all who suffer injustice, especially women who are victims of exclusion, abuse and discrimination
- Recognize the interconnectedness of all things and that every act of love sends healing energy throughout the cosmos – the entire network of creation
- Respect human life from conception to natural death
An Overview of Our Services
Hospitals to Home Care
Since caring for Cholera victims in 1832, and founding St. Vincent’s Hospital in 1834, we have been dedicated to providing the best possible health care, in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes and in the homes of the sick.
Education for All Ages
In 1830 our congregation opened its first school in Gardiner Street, Dublin. Today we continue to be involved in education at both primary and secondary levels, as well as running programmes for adult learners.
Caring for the Community
Our pastoral & social work is multifaceted and includes our prayer ministry, our prison ministry, outreach programmes, counselling services, work with asylum seekers & immigrants, and much more.
Mind, Body and Soul
Sisters are involved in ministries like Retreat Giving, Spiritual Direction, Faith Development, and Chaplaincy.
Counselling & Therapy
We provide low cost counselling and therapy to people on low incomes. Our therapists provide counselling in the areas of suicide, addiction, bereavement, abuse, homelessness, separation and marriage.
Identifying Social Issues
In 2001 we established Social Innovations Ireland to identify & respond to new & emerging social issues. This led to the establishment of the Immigrant Council of Ireland and Young Social Innovators.
Helping the homeless
The Religious Sisters of Charity set up Focus Ireland in 1985, in response to the needs of a group of homeless women. It is now the largest national voluntary body working with and for homeless people in Ireland.
Our Sisters work to integrate asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants in the local area. Part of their work is welcoming people to local parishes and liaising with schools on integrating pupils and their families.
Caring for Prisoners
One of the first works of our congregation was visiting prisoners in Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin. To this day, prison visitation is an important ministry for the Congregation. This work also involves seeking and promoting the human rights of prisoners, care of the families of prisoners, counselling for prisoners leaving prison, and after-care of ex-prisoners.
See the work of ministries in Ireland, including education, healthcare, immigrants, asylum-seekers & refugees, counselling & therapy, homelessness, prison ministry, daycare centres, spirituality, the sanctuary and care of the Earth.
See the work of ministries in England & Scotland, including social & pastoral, prayer & intercession, anti-human trafficking campaigning, parish, hospice care, chaplaincy, immigration & detention, asylum seekers & refugees and care of the Earth.
See the work of ministries in California, including education, faith formation, human trafficking, prayer & presence, care for the Earth, school chaplaincy and homelessness.
See the work of ministries in Nigeria, including education, healthcare, compassion centre, parish ministry, anti-human trafficking, JDPC, care of the Earth, prison ministry, skills acquisition centres and John Paul II family apostolate.
See the work of ministries in Zambia & Malawi, including education, pastoral & social work, spirituality/formation, justice & peace and health.