St.Vincent to Honor Daughters of Charity at Farewell Celebration Mass

St.Vincent founders recognized for more than 130 years of service

Jen Dial

INDIANAPOLIS - St.Vincent officials will be honoring and celebrating the Daughters of Charity's legacy at a farewell celebration Mass Monday, April 28, at 10 a.m. at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, 1347 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis. A public reception will be held immediately following the Mass at the Archbishop Edward T. O'Meara Catholic Center across from the Cathedral.

In March 2014, the Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louis, announced a gradual transition from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana. The Daughters of Charity will be leaving by summer 2014 to serve other areas where the needs are greatest.

"We are looking forward to honoring and celebrating the commitment of all Daughters of Charity who have witnessed and served in ministries throughout the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the Diocese of Lafayette since 1881," said Ron Mead, chief mission integration officer at St.Vincent. "It is with our love, prayers and blessings that we bid them a fond and heartfelt farewell as they leave to minister to the poor and vulnerable in other communities around the United States."

To recognize the dedication and work of the Daughters of Charity in Central Indiana, Susan W. Brooks, Member of Congress, submitted an article to the Congressional Record - the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. The Daughters of Charity will receive a copy of the Congressional Record recognizing their work as it will forever be noted in the published records of the United States Congress.

"Mr. Speaker, as we mark this transition, I simply want to take this moment to recognize the extraordinary and lasting contributions made by the Daughters of Charity to  improving health and well-being - body, mind and spirit - of the people of Central Indiana, noting particularly their dedication to serving and advocating for persons who are poor and most vulnerable," written in the article submitted by Susan M. Brooks, Member of Congress, in the Congressional Record.

In addition, the Daughters of Charity will receive a letter of recognition from  Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

On April 26, 1881, the first four Daughters of Charity came to Indianapolis. Bishop Francis Silas Chatard, a physician himself, gave them $34.77 to begin their Mission, which was to convert an abandoned seminary into a hospital. For the past 133 years, more than 300 Daughters of Charity have served in health care, education and social ministries throughout the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the Diocese of Lafayette. In the hospital's first 105 years of existence, 13 Daughters of Charity served as administrators.

The Daughters of Charity played important roles in serving Central Indiana. These have ranged from managing the B.A.B.E. (Beds and Britches Etc.), store for mothers seeking medical and other services in exchange for coupons that can be redeemed for baby products; as well as assisting physicians and nurses by praying with and ministering family members of patients; to empowering women by employing them in various capacities throughout the hospital. A primary goal for the Daughters of Charity has always been to provide comfort to the St.Vincent community.

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St.Vincent Hospitals and Health Services
Driven by the faith of four Daughters of Charity who arrived in Indianapolis in 1881 with $34.77 in their pockets, the St.VincentHospital mission is to treat the poor and sick by following our Core Values of Service of the Poor, Reverence, Integrity, Wisdom, Creativity and Dedication. Our healthcare ministry has grown to include seven Centers of Excellence: Women's, Children's, Orthopedics, Cardiovascular, Neuroscience, Cancer Care and Bariatrics. The ageless mission of St.Vincent remains unchanged: to minister to the minds, bodies and spirits of those in need.