does it take to make a difference?
St. Marguerite d’Youville, Foundress of the Sisters
of Charity of Montreal, first answered this question in
1737 when she founded the Congregation affectionately known
as the Grey Nuns. Subsequently, generations of women have
been inspired by this strong, creative woman; a risk taker
and powerful advocate for the poor.
life was a series of tragedies and her brave, generous response was
what made the difference.
In the face of prejudice, persecution and
misunderstanding, she pursued her vision of universal charity, a vision born of
contemplative prayer and reflection of the human person as the image of God.
That Marguerite made a difference is confirmed by the fact that her spirit is
alive today. The Grey Nuns, their lay colleagues,
Associates and volunteers continue
In 1855, the Grey Nuns were called to Toledo, Ohio, to care for the
sick and orphaned in the swamp infected area where many were suffering from
cholera. This was the beginning
of ministries in the United States that have shown millions of people
what it takes to make a difference. From Ohio to Massachusetts, New Hampshire,
Maine, New Jersey, and eventually to Africa and South America, the spirit of
Marguerite has taken root.
In 1996 the time came for the Grey Nuns to evaluate the continuing
sponsorship of their health care facilities in the United States. It was their
trust in Divine Providence that enabled them to take a heroic step in order to
make a difference. They transferred sponsorship to
Covenant Health Systems, thus assuring the growth of Catholic
healthcare in the spirit of St. Marguerite d’Youville.