History

History borgo

There were two distinct phases wherein the foundress, Mother Frances Streitel, furthered the realization of her vision.  In the first phase, February 1883 – September, 1885, Mother Frances worked together with Fr. Francis Jordan in attempting to establish the feminine branch of the Catholic Teaching Society. Letters and the notes (Norms 1883) attempted to clarify, convince, and concretize the vision but conflicts resulted in separation of the two founders.

In the second phase, September 1885 – Spring 1896 Mother Frances, the general superior, worked closely with Msgr. George Jacquemin to stabilize and develop the new foundation. On October 4, 1885, the constitutions were approved as based on the Franciscan spirituality, (Third Order Regular Rule) and on October 12, a formal decree was issued declaring the congregation a self governing institute.  Msgr. Jacquemin, Director of Spiritual and Temporal Affairs, assisted Mother Frances.  Together they implemented plans for the rapidly expanding congregation to send sisters to engage in apostolic work with the poor.

...In 1896 through a series of misunderstandings, Mother Frances was relieved of her office as leader of the congregation.  The spirit and foundation which she had nurtured were carried on by others while she lived a life of quiet seclusion and prayer at the motherhouse in Rome.  The last six years of her life were spent at the kindergarten in Castel Sant’ Elia, Italy, where she cared for needy children, giving simple witness to the way of life which she had begun.  On the day of her death, March 6, 1911, Pope Pius X gave final approval to the constitutions of the congregation, thus ratifying a form of religious living that is still viable today.

Today we live and work in ten countries throughout the world.  Together with our associates and thousands of ministry partners, we stand with the poor and suffering and work to make known the fullness of life to which all people are called.