Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth
The Sisters of Charity were founded by Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, in the spirit of Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Louise de Marillac, in Emmitsburg, Maryland, in 1809. In 1859 Mother Mary Xavier Mehegan founded the New Jersey community known as the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth.The order began in 1859, when Sister Mary Xavier Mehegan was assigned by the Sisters of Charity of New York to head a community that James Roosevelt Bayley, first bishop of Newark, New Jersey and nephew of Elizabeth Bayley Seton, wanted to establish. Mother Xavier continued to head the community for 56 years, until her death on June 24, 1915. During those years, schools, health care facilities, orphanages, and a residence for working women were established. In 1899 the [College of Saint Elizabeth], New Jersey's first baccalaureate-degree-granting college for women, was founded.
Today the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth are engaged in education, health care, pastoral and social service ministries in 19 dioceses within the United States, Haiti and El Salvador, Central America. The Congregation currently numbers 299 vowed members. The Seton Associate relationship has 275 affiliated lay and religious women and men.
In addition to the sponsorship of educational and health care works, the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth are involved in advocacy where public policy and social problems affect the lives of those living in poverty. Areas of concern are immigration, human trafficking, the environment and poverty. The Congregation is part of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) and through the Federation of Sisters of Charity has an NGO representative at the United Nations.