We sincerely thank Sister Regina Bechtle, Sisters of Charity of New York, for these articles, which shines a light on the HIV/AIDS ministries by Sisters of Charity Federation congregations.
Generations of Sisters and Daughters of Charity learned by heart that the central purpose of our vocation was to honor Jesus Christ by providing him “every temporal and spiritual service in their power” in the persons of the poor whom they served, including those “who through shame would conceal their necessities.”
Passed down from Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac to Elizabeth Seton, these words took flesh in the Sisters’ courageous service in time of epidemics like cholera, yellow fever, and influenza. In the late twentieth century, another plague blanketed the world with fear and shame – HIV/AIDS. Once again, Sisters of Charity were ready to respond to the grace of the moment and to honor Christ in the suffering members of his Body.
Today, an estimated 34 million people worldwide live with HIV/AIDS, including more than 390,000 children who were infected last year alone. Most of these people live in low and middle-income countries. Vincentian Family members in the U.S. and beyond serve persons with AIDS.
December 1, World AIDS Day, reminds us of the courage and compassion of those who ministered to persons with AIDS. Following are stories from a small sample of the many women of Charity who have ministered to persons with HIV/AIDS. They are Sisters of Charity of New York, Sisters of Charity of Halifax, Sisters of Charity of Convent Station, NJ , Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, KS and Daughters of Charity, among many others. Do you have a story to share? Let us hear it!
Click on the congregation name below to learn about their AIDS/HIV ministries.
Sisters of Charity of New York
Sisters of Charity – Halifax
Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, Convent Station
Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, KS
Daughters of Charity
Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception