The Vincentian system traces its history back to the Holy Rosary Cottage founded in McCandless by the Sisters in 1924 to serve 24 residents.
The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth were founded out of the need to provide religious education for children of more than a thousand Catholic families who had migrated to Kentucky from Maryland after the Revolutionary War. Father John Baptist David sought women willing to devote their lives to the service of the Church. From six that responded, Catherine Spalding was elected the first superior of the Congregation. The Sisters moved to Nazareth, KY and built Nazareth Academy to accommodate one hundred boarders.
SCN Sisters opened Presentation Academy in Louisville, KY — the first Catholic school in the city, then St. Vincent Orphanage and St. Joseph Infirmary to care for Cholera victims and orphans of the epidemic, firsts among their institutions of social service and health care.
SCN Sisters nursed wounded and dying soldiers on both sides of the Civil War in Kentucky military hospitals. President Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter regarding the SCNs during the war.
Vincentian Sisters of Charity in Pittsburgh, PA were founded when the original six VSC Sisters emigrated to the United States from Szatmar, Austria-Hungary to minister to the enormous numbers of recent Slovak immigrants. Within two years, the parishioners of St. Michael’s built them a small convent. Local girls interested in a religious life began to inquire about entering the order. A few years later A VSC novitiate was established and the first postulant in America was admitted.
VSC purchased land in Pittsburgh’s North Hills for a larger facility to accommodate increased activities and membership of the Community. A new motherhouse was dedicated.
Six SCN Sisters opened a hospital and clinic in India to treat people with leprosy which lead to advancing adult education, encouraging community development, overseeing programs for the disabled, helping to empower and educate women and families and other groundbreaking programs. The first of many global ventures.
SCN congregation members were engaged in two colleges, more than 30 high schools, and over 100 elementary schools. Countless children were given homes in six orphanages, and thousands of patients received care in 12 hospitals. Six nurses’ training schools extended the SCN service.
During the Civil Rights movement, SCN Sisters were recognized for their work in try to bring equality to all.
SCN Sisters began outreach in Belize, Central America and open ministries in Nepal.
SCN Sisters were among the first in Kentucky to open up their nursing home to AIDS patients — changing the law to make it possible. Since 1986, Nazareth Home has offered long-term care for persons with AIDS and support for their families.
Four SCNs served on the founding board of directors for the first non-profit in Kentucky serving women and children with AIDS, the House of Ruth. The Mission Statement of the SCN General Assembly formally proclaimed the international nature of the Congregation and ministry in a multicultural world. The Sisters and Associates commit themselves to work for justice in solidarity with oppressed peoples, especially the economically poor and women and to care for the earth.
SCN Sisters began ministry in Botswana, Africa. Vincentian Sisters of Charity Sisters in Pittsburgh and Sisters of Charity of Nazareth of Kentucky merge.