Sisters of the Good Shepherd

The Congregation of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd began as a branch of the Order of Our Lady of Charity. It was founded in 1641 by Saint John Eudes, at Caen, France, and dedicated to the care, rehabilitation, and education of girls and young women in difficulty. Some of the girls were abandoned by their families or orphaned; some had turned to prostitution in order to survive. The Sisters provided shelter, food, vocational training and an opportunity for these girls and women to turn their lives around.[2]

Mary Euphrasia Pelletier

The Congregation of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd was founded by Rose Virginia Pelletier in Angers, France, in 1835. Rose was the daughter of a medical doctor and his wife, known for their generosity to the poor. At the age of eighteen, she joined the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Charity in Tours and was given the name Sister Mary of Saint Euphrasia. At the age of twenty-nine, she became Mother superior of the convent.[2]

Contemplative community

While superior at Tours, Sister Mary Euphrasia formed a contemplative nuns group, named the Magdalen Sisters (based in a devotion to Saint Mary Magdalene‘s conversion), now known as the Contemplative Communities of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, for penitent women who wished to live a cloistered life, [3] On November 11, 1825, four young women began their novitiate with a short rule given to them by Archbishop de Montblanc of Tours, [4] which followed the Rule of the Third Order of Mount Carmel,[5] and earned their own way with intricate embroidery and production of altar bread.

Angers, FranceGood Shepherd Sisters 6

In 1829, the Bishop of Angers, in France, requested a home be established in his diocese. Soon requests arrived from other cities. Each convent of the Order of Our Lady of Charity was independent and autonomous, with neither shared resources nor provisions for transferring personnel as needed. Sister Mary Euphrasia Pelletier envisioned a new governing structure that would free the sisters to respond more readily to requests for assistance. She appealed to Rome for approval to establish a new religious congregation, and the congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd was founded in 1835, with the motherhouse in Angers.2]

Sister Mary Euphrasia Pelletier was Mother-General of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd for 33 years, and at her death in 1868, she left 2067 professed sisters, 384 novices, 309 Touriere sisters (outdoor sisters who were not cloistered), 962 Sisters Magdalen, caring for 6372 “penitents”, and 8483 children. In her lifetime 110 Good Shepherd convents were established in places as various as Rome, Italy (1838), Munich, Germany (1839) and Mons, Belgium (1839).

As of today, we are in many different parts of the world serving women and children as well as the most vulnerable in society and following our mission of mercy and reconciliation.

For more information please contact: Sister Francisca Aguillón, Provincial Leader at: (330)440-5288 or (330)627-5783 sfaguillon@hotmail.com Â