In acknowledgement of and with respect to Black History Month in the United States and Canada, the Sisters of Charity Federation shared a letter confirming that the original Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s had some involvement with slavery. The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in the United States, the Sisters of Charity of New York, and five other congregations of Sisters trace their early roots back to the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The letter contains an apology from the member Congregations of the Federation and asks for forgiveness. Click here to read the letter.

In 2019, the Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives in Emmitsburg began researching slavery relative to the history of the Daughters of Charity in the United States. This research continued through most of 2021, although, of course, the pandemic impacted the process.

The Sisters of Charity Federation has provided a list of questions and answers related to this research. We encourage our friends, colleagues, and supporters to review the information provided in the document. Click here to access Federation Q&A

As members of the Federation, we, the Sisters of Charity of New York, want to understand and honestly acknowledge our history, and express our deep contrition for this difficult chapter in our past. This important work reflects that commitment. 

The Sisters of Charity of New York have also provided a list of questions and answers about the issue of slavery as it pertains to Elizabeth Seton as our founder and to our Congregation. Click here to access SCNY Q&A

We fully support the Federation letter and join our member congregations in asking for forgiveness. We re-commit ourselves to our mission to reveal God’s love, with and for all in need, especially those who live in poverty. Further, we re-commit ourselves to be “…women of healing, sensitive to the wounds of persons and to the systemic evils of our times.” (Constitution, Sisters of Charity of New York, #1.4)

The Sisters of Charity of New York commit ourselves to walk with our sisters and brothers of color, to work for an end to racism, and to respect the dignity of every person, which is the heart and core of Catholic social teaching.