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Sister Sarah Mulligan co-founded the Daniel Comboni Community Clinic in Mixco, Guatemala.Sisters and Associates gather around the altar in Immaculate Conception Chapel at the Motherhouse.Sister Karen Hawver at Holy Family School, Rochester, Michigan.

About the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati

Sisters of Charity Fact Sheet  [printable version]
March 2014

The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati is an apostolic Catholic community of women religious that exists to carry out the Gospel of Jesus Christ through service and prayer in the world.


1809 - The Sisters of Charity were founded by St. Elizabeth Bayley Seton in Emmitsburg, Md.
1829 - Four Sisters of Charity first came to Cincinnati.
1852 - Mother Margaret Farrell George founded the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, a separate community from the Sisters in Emmitsburg.


(From left) Sisters Agnes Ann Gardt and Janice Ernst enjoy dessert during an ice cream social hosted by Motherhouse and Mother Margaret Hall employees for the Sisters during National Catholic Sisters Week.

As part of Women's History Month, the first-ever National Catholic Sisters Week was celebrated
March 8-14. Made possible through a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the week brought a greater awareness to Catholic Sisters - to make them more known and visible on a broad national level. In addition to highlighting the significant role that women religious have played in our world histories, it also made visible a contemporary view of Catholic Sisters, their lives, their mission and their works.


The Leadership Council of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati includes (front row, from left) Sister Louise Lears, SC, councilor; Sister Joan Elizabeth Cook, SC, president; (back row, from left) Sister Lois Jean Goettke, SC, councilor; Sister Mary Bookser, SC, councilor; and Sister Christine Marie Rody, SC, councilor.

The four-year term of the elected governing body runs through June 30, 2015.

Membership Statistics

Currently, 339 members of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati serve in 28 U.S. dioceses (15 states) and three foreign countries. A total of 263 Sisters serve in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Ministries include education, health care, retreat work, parish, social work, ministry of prayer and congregational service.

Colorado Springs

El Paso
Fort Wayne

Las Cruces
New Orleans
New York
St. Petersburg
San Diego
San Francisco
Santa Fe

Foreign Countries
West Indies


The Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati are joined by 187 Associates, lay women and men, who reside throughout the United States; one Associate in Volunteer Ministry, who serves in a full-time Sister of Charity ministry while embracing the values and vision of the Community; and one Associate in Community, who shares in the mission, spirit, ministry and lifestyle of the Congregation while in a local community of Sisters of Charity. The Sister/Associate relationship was established in 1973 so that individuals could partner with the Sisters in responding to the Gospel in the spirit of St. Elizabeth Bayley Seton.

Nonprofit Ministries

Since the Community was founded, the Sisters of Charity have sponsored numerous schools, hospitals, orphanages and social service agencies. They continue to sponsor the following ministries, which are all in Cincinnati except Light of Hearts Villa, located in Bedford, Ohio.

Seton High School (1854) is a comprehensive, Catholic high school for girls. Originally founded as Mount St. Vincent Academy, it was renamed Seton High School in 1927.

St. Joseph Home (1873) is a residential facility for children and adults with severe mental and multiple physical disabilities. Founded as St. Joseph Infant Asylum, it also served for many years as St. Joseph Infant and Maternity Home.

The College of Mount St. Joseph (1920) is a coeducational, Catholic liberal arts college serving 2,300 students.

Light of Hearts Villa (1989) is an assisted living facility for senior adults. It was founded by the Vincentian Sisters of Charity of Bedford, Ohio, who merged with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati in June 2004. The facility is a 50-50 partnership with the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine Health System.

Seton Family Center (1989) is a counseling center servicing children and adults in a homelike setting so they can cope with the difficulties of everyday life.

DePaul Cristo Rey High School (2009) provides an opportunity for young women and men with economic need to obtain a Catholic, college preparatory education made affordable through an innovative corporate work study program.

Bayley (1989), a continuing care retirement community that offers a full spectrum of lifestyle options that promote engagement, wellness and vitality. Bayley offers progressive services for adults through two service lines: Bayley Access, a collection of programs enabling older adults still living at home to enjoy community and fellowship, and Bayley Living, which provides varied reisdential options for mature adults of all faiths.

After a long history of sponsoring hospitals and a health-care system, the Sisters of Charity joined with 10 other congregations in 1996 to create and sponsor Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national health-care organization.