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Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (SCN)

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Catherine Spalding
Our Founder      

The Congregation of Sisters of Charity of Nazareth was founded in 1812 by Bishop John Baptist M. David and Mother Catherine Spalding near Bardstown, Kentucky, U.S.A.. Three young women, Teresa Carrico, Elizabeth Wells, and Catherine Spalding responded to Bishop David’s call for assistance in ministering to the needs of the people of Kentucky. The nineteen-year-old Catherine Spalding was elected as the first Superior. The new Community followed the Rule of St. Vincent de Paul and their dwelling place was named “Nazareth”. Their motto was “The Love of Christ Impels Us”.  More than 600 SCN serve in USA, India, Nepal, Belize, Central America and Botswana.

Since the beginning years of the Congregation, SCN have been responding to the needs of the times. Their education ministry began in 1814 when the first school was opened. In 1832 when Catherine Spalding brought home two orphans left on the wharf in Louisville, their social work ministry began. The following year, when cholera struck, SCN nursed these victims. So began their health care ministry. Pastoral ministry later emerged within the congregation as a distinct form of ministry after Vatican II as they followed the call of the Church to respond to the signs of the times.

Impelled by the love of Jesus, in the tradition of Vincent de Paul and the pioneering spirit of Catherine Spalding, the SCN and Associates are committed to promoting peace and humanization of values, opposing racism/caste system, alleviating poverty, supporting women’s issues and environmental issues. They are people who believe that no child should go hungry; no sick person should be abandoned; no woman should be beaten; no person should be hated because of race, caste, religion, or culture, no one should abuse the earth’s offerings. Through their daily lives and ministries, in collaboration with their Associates and others, they are living out these priorities and beliefs to meet the changing and challenging needs of today’s world with their Pioneering Spirit- the hallmark of the SCN Congregation.

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