“A Missionary of Charity is: a carrier of God’s love especially to the poorest of the poor,
setting all on fire with love for Him and one another; a healing touch of God
that cures all diseases; a soothing smile of God that warms all hearts;
God’s own language of love that all hearts understand.”
(Mutter Teresa von Kalkutta)
The Missionaries of Charity Sisters were founded in
Calcutta on 7 October 1950 and are an international
religious family of pontifical right.
Members of the ACTIVE branch love and adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and love and serve Him in the poorest of the poor by nursing the sick and dying destitute; gathering and teaching the poor and little street children; visiting and caring for beggars, leprosy patients, and their children; giving shelter to the abandoned and homeless; caring for the unwanted, the unloved, and the lonely; going out to the spiritually poorest of the poor to proclaim the Word of God by their presence and spiritual works of mercy.
Members of the CONTEMPLATIVE branch, which came into being on the feast of the Sacred Heart, 25 June 1976 in New York with Sr. M. Nirmala Joshi, MC as co-foundress, live a life of contemplation, solitude, silence, fasting and penance with special emphasis on Eucharistic adoration. They go out to the spiritually poorest of the poor for two to three hours a day and proclaim the Word of God by their presence and spiritual works of mercy.
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Women over the age of 35 are generally not accepted.
In 2007, 4823 sisters were serving in 757 houses in 134 countries.
The Missionaries of Charity (Sisters) is an international religious family
of pontifical right founded by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta in 1950,
composed of active and contemplative branches with perpetual, public vows of chastity, poverty, obedience and wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor.
The Society’s aim is to quench the infinite thirst of Jesus Christ on the Cross
for love and souls by the living of the four vows in a spirit of loving trust, total surrender,
and cheerfulness, leading each one to the perfect love of God and neighbor
and making the Church fully present in the world of today.
The apostolate is to labor at the salvation and sanctification of the poorest of the poor,
not only in the slums, but also wherever they may be all over the world,
by putting the love of God into a living action.
Every member goes where she is sent and does not choose either the place or kind of work:
“In all our missionary apostolate, we follow the advice of
Our Lady at the wedding feast at Cana, ‘
Do whatever He tells you.’”
(Mutter Teresa von Kalkutta – from the MC Constitutions)
Members of the active branch:
• love and adore Jesus under the appearance of bread in the Blessed Sacrament by:
daily Holy Mass
“Holy Mass is the prayer of our day, where Jesus makes our offering with His Church
one with His Sacrifice and offers us all to His Father.”
(Mutter Teresa von Kalkutta)
a daily hour of Eucharist Adoration
“Our one hour daily adoration before the Blessed Sacrament exposed
gives us one more opportunity to sit at His feet in communion
with the Lord to whom we belong.”
(Mutter Teresa von Kalkutta)
• love and serve Him in the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor,
both materially and spiritually, recognizing in them and
restoring to them the image and likeness of God by:
nursing the sick and dying destitute;
In Missionary of Charity homes, the sick and abandoned elderly, patients with AIDS,
and patients recovering from TB and other grave illness are cared for.
gathering and teaching the poor and little street children;
Adult literacy and English classes are given, along with classes for such skills as sewing and typing.
Couples are taught the natural family planning method.
The sisters run Day Crèches (Day Care) for small children of single or working parents.
Primary education through class two is offered to children living in the slums
to help them get admitted to regular schools. After school homework and handcrafts
classes are given during the year, along with day camps in the summer,
for other materially and socially disadvantaged children.
giving shelter to the abandoned and homeless;
Throughout the world, Missionary of Charity homes have been established
to meet different needs: the rehabilitation of leprosy sufferers; the mentally ill;
unwed mothers and other women in urgent need; alcohol or drug addicts;
night shelters for homeless men or homeless women and women with children;
children abandoned or relinquished by their families; physically
and mentally challenged children.
Adoption centers are run by the sisters in some countries.
caring for the unwanted, the unloved and the lonely;
The sisters seek and care for beggars and leprosy patients and their children.
Shut-ins and patients in hospitals and nursing homes are visited by the sisters,
who also bring Holy Communion.
going out to t he spiritually poorest of the poor to proclaim the Word of God
by their presence and by spiritual works of mercy;
families are encouraged to pray together and to practice their faith more fully; if possible,
they are prepared by the sisters to be consecrated to the Sacred Heart.
Inmates in prisons and persons on the streets are encouraged to grow in their love for God.
In poorer parishes, the sisters teach sacrament preparation classes,
Sunday school for children, and adult catechesis. They have different prayer
groups and arrange for Eucharistic Adoration in the church. In some public schools,
they give religious instruction to the Catholic students.
going to remote villages;
The sisters travel to outlying villages, staying for some time to do the works of generalization,
catechists, and visiting and caring for the poor and the sick;
conducting relief work.
The Missionaries of Charity operate soup kitchens, have centers
for malnourished children and regularly distribute dry rations and cooked food.
Financial Aid is provided for the basic emergency needs of the poor,
e.g. food, rent, medicines, utilities, and school fees.
First aid and general medicines for minor illnesses are dispensed from both
permanent and mobile clinics. Special mobile clinics have been set up to treat leprosy patients.
In times of famine or other disasters, temporary emergency response centers
are established to provide help to the victims.
Regardless of where they are sent or what they do, the life of a Missionary of Charity
is founded in prayer, marked by the simplicity and humility of the Gospel,
and characterized by total reliance on Divine Providence
for all personal necessities and those of the poor.
Candidates that aspire to join the Missionaries of Charity must be:
• sufficiently mature to adopt our way of life;
• guided by a right intention;
• healthy in body and mind, and hence able to bear the hardships of this special vocation;
• able to acquire knowledge (especially the language of the people they serve and English, the language of the Society);
• of a cheerful disposition;
• able to exercise sound judgment;
• full of common sense.
Candidates are encouraged to complete at least a high school education.
Those interested will be invited to make a two week “Come and See” experience. For further information, contact the closest house of sisters.