Our Congregation is an assembly of women who are brought together to fulfill a common vision. This vision is based on that of Marie Poussepin; a French Lady who established the Congregation in 1696 at Sainville, France, about 30 miles from Chartres. It was established as the Daughters of Charity, always with the intention to found “a community of the Third Order of St. Dominic for the instruction of the girls and the service to the sick poor of the countryside;” thus, giving the Church the first Dominican Sisters of Charity. However, it was only in 1959 that the Congregation became officially aggregated to the Dominican Order. The Congregation was dispersed during the French Revolution (1792 – 1803). It was reconstituted in 1803 by a “second Foundress” known as Mother St. Pierre (Pauline Merlin) with a few remaining Sisters at Janville, France seeing that the original house had been ravaged then repossessed during the Revolution. Ten years later, the seat of the Congregation was moved to Tours, France where the Mother House was established and remains so today. The General Administration of the Congregation is in Rome, Italy. Mother Saint Pierre opened 75 houses and started new forms of ministry. She prepared the way for an extraordinary and daring expansion executed by her successors. First it was throughout Western Europe and by 1873 the sisters were in mission in Iraq and Colombia. The first sisters came to the United States in 1905. The Dominican Sisters of the Presentation as we are known familiarly strive to remain faithful to their Foundress’ spirit of her charism and her original vision. Our Foundress, Marie Poussepin’s charism, her given gift by the grace of God was her ability to use what she had to respond to the needs of the time. In her time it was the needs of destitute young girls, their education and livelihood, as well as, the needs of the sick poor. As she faced many challenges while establishing the Congregation, we face many challenges in today’s world to keep this charism alive by the service of charity, and a joyful proclamation of Jesus Christ. Marie Poussepin was given the grace manifested by her audacity and tenacity to follow through, in spite of many obstacles, and with others to serve those most in need. The needs of that time are often the needs of today. In a world torn by war and injustices, physical and emotional pain, lack of religious and secular education, depending on where the sisters are located throughout the world the Dominican Sisters of Charity of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin desire to continue in her footsteps to proclaim the Gospel and serve.
We make a vow of poverty, chastity and obedience: “to live and die for the service of the Church, in the exercise of Charity.”
Marie Poussepin, our Foundress traced a path…. Others after her, heirs of her spirit, of her charism, responded to the calls of the time, to the urgencies of evangelization, by preserving as a priority the service to the poor in the midst of many and different commitments.