SCN Foundation Day – Dec. 1, 2023

Posted by Kacie Emmerson

December 1, 2023

On Dec. 1, 2023, let us honor the legacy of Mother Catherine Spalding and the early followers who, more than two centuries ago, set forth on a journey of love and service. As we celebrate the SCN Foundation Day — marking the Congregation’s 211th year — may we be inspired to respond to the challenges and opportunities in our communities and missions with the same trust and courage that has defined the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth for over 200 years.

The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth were founded in 1812 by Mother Catherine Spalding, along with Bishop John Baptist Mary David. In the early 19th Century, in the newly formed diocese of Bardstown, Kentucky, Bishop Benedict Flaget was overwhelmed by the responsibility of providing religious education for the children of Catholic families who had migrated to Kentucky from Maryland after the Revolutionary War. In response to this need, Father John Baptist David, who had recently established St. Thomas Seminary, called for young women willing to devote their lives to the service of the Church. Among six women who responded to the call, 19-year-old Catherine Spalding, originally from Maryland, was elected first superior of the Congregation.

In the years to follow, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth grew in both number and impact, moving to the current Nazareth Motherhouse Campus in 1822. In 2008, the Vincentian Sisters of Charity merged with SCNs and transferred their religious vows to become the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. 

Over time, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth have expanded their reach, touching lives across the globe through their unwavering commitment to education, healthcare, and social justice. Currently, the Sisters have missions and ministries in the United States, India, Belize, Nepal, Botswana, and Kenya.

As we commemorate the 211th SCN Foundation Day, we are reminded of the call to remain vigilant to what God is accomplishing in the world. The SCN legacy is a testament to the power of love, trust, and courage in the face of challenges. The current ministries showcase the continued commitment of the SCN Community to making a positive impact in the world.

1 Comment

  1. Sister Margaret Lillian, SCN

    My heart is filled with deep gratitude to God and to our SCNs who have inspired my
    vocation to be an SCN. As a student at our old St. John School in Louisville, KY and
    at Presentation Academy I felt the call to become an SCN even though I knew the
    Sisters of the Poor who cared for my Great Grandmother who lived at their home
    and were the first Sisters I knew before I started to school. That is when the seed
    of my Religious vocation was sown.


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