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Archives Following nearly 24 years of service in parishes, schools and to those most in need
Daughters of Charity end ministry in diocese

April 4, 2018

Ogdensburg -  Answering an invitation from Bishop Paul S. Loverde, the Daughters of Charity began their daugters of charityministry in the Diocese of Ogdensburg in 1994, ready to serve in a rural area where an increased presence of religious women was welcome.

The first Daughter to arrive was Sister Molly Smith who began her work as a regional director of religious education in August, 1994.

Nearly 24 years later, the last two Daughters of Charity to serve the North Country church are leaving.
Sister Donna Franklin, diocesan director of Catholic Charities for 22 years, and Sister Patricia Collins, who worked for Catholic Charities out of the Ogdensburg regional office, will be moving out of the area by the end of April.

In addition to service in Catholic Charities, the Daughters of Charity Sister Donna Franklinhave ministered in parishes in St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties; at Holy Family School, Malone; St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in Ogdensburg ; St. Vincent de Paul Center (later known as St. James Outreach Center) in Gouverneur; the Gouverneur Outreach Foundation; in the diocesan Christian Formation and deacon programs, Seaway House; the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Massena; and more.

Belinda Davis, Director of Communications for the Daughters of Charity Province of St. Louise, said that “among the factors involved in the decision to withdraw were the diminishing number of Daughters and the importance for Daughters to live in community for which they need sufficient numbers of Sisters together to maintain this integral part of their Community Life”. 

“Sister Patricia and Sister Donna recognize their departure will be bittersweet,” Ms Davis said, “They will miss the devoted and caring community in which they have served.”

Sister Patricia now will minster in Utica, where she will serve at the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees; Sister Donna’s mission will be to Albany, where she will begin to serve in the Ministry of Prayer at St. Louise House.

Founded in Paris, France in 1633 by St. Louise de Marillac and St. Vincent de Paul and tracing their roots to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in the United States in 1809, the Daughters of Charity were among the first community of Daughters of Chairtyreligious women who were not cloistered.

Their community was unlike any other. St. Vincent instructed them to have "as a monastery, the houses of the sick; as a cell, a hired room; as a chapel, the parish church; as a cloister, the streets of the city; as enclosure, obedience; as grille, the fear of God; and as a veil, holy modesty."

“This was radical in the 1600s and things are no different today,” Davis said. “The Sisters, through their vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and their additional vow of service to the poor, continue to follow these rules and go where they are most needed.”

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