Women Religious in South Carolina

One of the greatest challenges the Church has faced in our diocese has always been the size of its territory and too few priests to serve it.

Most Rev. John England, the first bishop of Charleston, addressed this problem by creating a diocesan order of women religious — the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy (click here to read their history) — and inviting other congregations to help as well, including the Ursulines. These women of faith helped forge the diocese into what it is today, building ministries and serving those in need. And they continue to do so, with 26 different communities of women currently providing spiritual guidance, education and social outreach.

Here is a snapshot of those women, who have given themselves to God and the service of his people. Pictured above are the Sisters of St. John the Baptist who work in Columbia.

Local impact

Other orders

Additionally, these orders also work throughout South Carolina:

  • Daughters of Charity – migrant farmworker ministry
  • Sisters of Notre Dame
  • Congregation of St. Augustine
  • Daughters of Wisdom
  • Humility of Mary
  • Order of St. Francis
  • Congregation of St. Felix
  • Congregation of Bon Secours
  • Adrian Dominican
  • Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Kentucky
  • Disciples of Jesus the Good Shepherd
  • Missionary Daughters of St. Jerome Emiliani
  • Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters, Hispanic Faith Formation
  • Daughters of St. Paul, or Paulines – moving from the diocese in 2023