The Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida are an international community founded on April 11, 1799 by Jeanne Antide Thouret.
At the age of 22 and after seeing a vision of hands reaching out to her through a cloister grille, Jeanne Antide decided to join a community that combined prayer, community living, and ministry to the poor. They were called the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. During the French Revolution, all of the Sisters were disbanded and sent back to their hometowns. Jeanne Antide joined other groups of religious but none of them met her needs. She was invited back to Besancon to begin work among the people of her diocese. She agreed, and on April 11th opened a free school for the education of girls. She also visited the sick and opened a soup kitchen to feed the poor. This legacy continues to this day as we continue to respond to the cries of the poor.
In 1932 the Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida (SCSJA) came to the United States where they ministered to the Italian immigrants in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the height of the depression. After celebrating their 200th Anniversary in 1999, the SCSJA still continue to branch out across 26 countries following their mandate to go wherever they are needed.
Mission of the SCSJA
Provoked by the Spirit
Driven by our passion for authentic community life
Challenged to be prophetic witnesses
We dare to incarnate Jesus Christ
In thought, in word, and in action.
Opposing a culture immersed in
violence and death
we commit ourselves to foster a culture of
life in collaboration with others.
Daring to go beyond the confines of our
comfort and fear,
we commit ourselves to a formative process
that will prepare us to live
a "mission without boundaries."
Faithful to our commitment to evangelize
and serve the poor,
we communicate in a way that is
meaningful to and
respectful of our audience.
The Foundress of our Community was born Jeanne Antide Thouret on November 27, 1765 in the little village of Sancey, in eastern France near the Swiss border. In Italy she is called Giovanna Antida, in the USA, Joan Antida, and in South America, Juana Antida. The name is pronounced many ways, but the woman was one – one in her great faith, deep prayer life and unswerving love of the poor.
Jeanne lived through the terror and chaos of the French Revolution as a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in Paris until all religious congregations were dissolved for many years. Jeanne returned to her native area and, after some years, on April 11, 1799 opened a free school for girls, then a pharmacy and a soup kitchen. Her simple response to the needs of her people for education, food, medical care, faith instruction and worship was the birth of our Religious Community. In addition to the three vows all religious take, we also take a fourth vow of Service to the Poor. There are approximately 3,500 Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida in 26 countries. These include the USA, 4 countries of South America, 7 European countries, 6 African countries and 8 Asian countries. Some of these countries are: Paraguay, Romania, Cameroon, Sudan, Indonesia, Laos and Pakistan.
It was Jeanne Antide’s desire “to cross the ocean and go to the ends of the earth if God wanted it."
For more information on the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joan Antida click here.