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Sisters of Charity of St. Louis

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This congregation was founded at Vannes in Brittany, in 1803, by Madame Molé, née de Lamoignan, for the education of poor girls, at the suggestion of Bishop de Pancemont, of Vannes, who was her director. In 1805 Pius VII blessed the undertaking, but the final approbation of Rome was not obtained till 1840. The founder was elected superior for life as Mère St. Louis. There were at first no lay sisters, but finding this plan did not answer, Oblates of St. Louis were selected to act in this capacity, but they are not allowed to take vows until they have been ten years in the community; they then, like the choir-sisters, take a fourth vow of stability, when they have reached the age of forty. The interior spirit of the congregation is one of penitence and mortification. Its work is the education of poor girls who live in orphanages attached to their convents, and to support these orphanages the sisters have pay schools. The congregation is under the government of a mother-general and the bishop, or a superior appointed by the bishop. The sisters had twenty houses in France, most of which were in Brittany, but all their schools were closed by the Government; the greater number of the sisters in consequence went to Canada, where they met with a hospitable reception, and established fourteen houses. In 1898 they went to England, and opened a house at Minehead in Dorsetshire; they have since made a foundation at Glastonbury and another at Frome. The novitiate lasts two years.

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