On November 21, 2017 Monsignor Edmond Whalen, Principal of Msgr. Farrell High School, celebrated the opening Mass of Thanksgiving for the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Daughters of Divine Charity. The Eucharistic celebration took place at 4:00pm in the chapel of the Provincial House located at 850 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, New York.
This event began a year-long theme of gratitude for the Foundress, Franziska Lechner, the Congregation and its members and associates.
On November 21, 1868, Franziska Lechner received permission from the then Pope to form a congregation of women who would work with and follow her example to care for young women providing safe and loving housing for them in the large industrial cities of the time.
For the past 150 years the Sisters have continued this charism establishing schools, safe housing for young women and residences for both the elderly and mentally disabled.
In addition to the celebration on Staten Island, a Eucharistic celebration and candle lighting ceremony was held in Austria, the site of Franziska’s first mission. Each Provincial Superior and representatives from each of the seven Provinces of the Congregation and three Vice Provinces went in prayerful procession to the crypt of Franziska Lechner. The participants were given candles to take back to their respective Provinces as a symbol community unity while insuring the legacy and the mission of the Foundress.
The Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Charity with a membership of approximately 1000 Sisters has convents throughout Europe, Africa, South America and the United States.