Daughters of Charity?

I have a daughter who is interested in a celibate vocation and has expressed an interest in working in an orphanage. An old school mate is a daughter of charity in Africa doing such work and I was thinking of contacting her, but would like more information about the daughters of charity before I begin. We are a bit on the traditional side of the Catholic faith and conservative in our political views, so I want my daughter to be fully aware of the view points of any convent/religious order she may be interested in.

Thanks to all who can offer any information.

In a congregation as large as the Daughters of Charity there are going to be a wide variety of viewpoints, some more traditionally minded and some more liberally minded. It could very well depend on the province and the persons who happen to be superiors in those provinces. This is the international website for the congregation. As far as I am aware, the Daughters of Charity are one of the congregations that have largely discontinued wearing the traditional habit - your daughter may have no strong feelings about this but it is something to consider.

You mention that your family are fairly traditional. One thing you may suggest to her is to look at congregations associated with the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, whose members tend to be more traditionally minded active congregations, though of course they do not include all such congregations it may be a good place to start.

The DCs are a Society of Apostolic Life and were never required to wear a habit to begin with. The white wings have become typecast as the symbol of apostolic sisters’ charity.

As for orphanages, here is a site: orphanage.org/

There are tons of orphanages in the Third World, but only about 3 in the US anymore.

Since many children are wards of the state, no religion can be taught.

One blogger suggested Catholics get back into the orphanage apostolate.


Hi, I am a Daughter of Charity and I come from a traditional Catholic family. We wear a habit and our “coiffe”, French for head covering and never called a veil, is optional. Our focus has been serving those living in poverty since we were founded in 1633–and yes we are a Society of Apostolic Life. We live and pray in community as community and the Eucharist is central to our daily lives–this is true as a whole despite any variety in political views that as previously stated in the other post comes with so large a community.
Here is a link to our international English site: filles-de-la-charite.org/ and to our vocation site in the US: daughters-of-charity.com. Feel free to contact me if you have more Qs about the Daughters of Charity.

Thank you everyone for the information. I think I will let my daughter contact the group, but I still have reservations. I saw some writings and UN reports that worried me, but I think it would be safe for my daughter to at least find out how it is to work in an orphanage. If her interest increases, I may have her look into other groups as well. I’m just not sure about their “sustainable living” programs.

Thanks for all your help!


The Daughters of Charity run St. Ann’s Infant and Maternity Home in Hyattsville, MD just outside Washington, DC. That would be a good way to check out the community in a small way before going to Africa. There is also a summer missionary program–Vincentian Lay Missionaries- who work with the Daughters of Charity for several weeks in groups in a couple Africa countries each year. Those ministries focus on the children. You can find both those groups on the web.
Have a blessed weekend!

thank you larockdc! God bless!

hmm, if she is interested in children you could always have her check out the Sisters of Life. sistersoflife.org/. They care for women and infants in crisis pregnancies and for a time afterwards. Very traditional. :thumbsup: (My college roommate took her first vows 2 years ago.

Wonderful to see you participating in these forums, Sr. Denise! How are the vocations going? Last I saw there were several in attendance at the come-and-see.


I am well and we are blessed!

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