Good Shepherd Sisters (RGS)
The Congregation of Our Lady of the Charity of the Good Shepherd, founded by St.Mary Euphrasia Pelletier, was approved by Pope Gregory XVI on January 16, 1835.The congregation has its origin in the order of Our Lady of Charity, founded by St.John Eudes in 1641.
St.John Eudes was an outstanding priest and leader in the Christian renewal of 17th century France.He is especially known as the father, doctor and apostle of the liturgical devotion to the heart of Jesus and Mary. During his missionary travels through France, Father Eudes became increasingly aware of the moral distress and exploitation of many girls and women. To help those women who desired to change their lives, he established a refuge in 1641 which he confided to some women who wished to share in his ministry of charity. From this beginning the order of Our Lady of Charity evolved. To show the beauty of this vocation and to ensure that the sisters remain faithful to their specific end, he gave them a fourth vow zeal for the salvation of souls.
In 1814 Rose Virginie Pelletier entered the Order of Our Lady of Charity at Tours and was given the name of Mary of St.Euphrasia. Combining a zealous apostolic life with a deep spirituality she spent the early years of her religious life in active ministry to young women. At the age of 29 she was elected superior at Tours and invigorated the life of the community and its apostolic ministry. While at Tours Sisters Mary Euphrasia realized that some women wished to dedicate their lives to God and she formed a contemplative community under the patronage of St. Mary Magdalene.The specific orientation of the community was prayer and conversion. Sister Mary Euphrasia, who had a spiritual affinity with St.Teresa of Avila, based of prayer and silence the contemplative sisters would also bring spiritual fruitfulness to the community.
At the invitation of Bishop Charles Montault, a house was established in Angers in 1829.It was called “Good Shepherd” in memory of another house with a similar ministry which had existed in Angers during the previous century . In 1831 Sister Mary Euphrasia founded a contemplative community in Angers. Their constitutions were approved in 1834 by Bishop Montault.
Sister Mary Euphrasia longed that the whole world would benefit from the saving work initiated by St.John Eudes. She saw the need for a central government so that the sisters could be sent to all parts of the world. After many difficulties, the generalate was approved in 1835. With this approval the Church established a congregation distinct from the Order of Our Lady of Charity. The new congregation received the name of ‘Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd of Angers’. Within the congregation the two ways of life, contemplative and apostolic, would have the same end, the glory of God and the salvation of souls. At the death of Sister Mary Euphrasia on April 24, 1868 there were 110 houses worldwide. Sister Mary Euphrasia was canonized on May 2, 1940. At the 1985 Congregational Chapter, the official name of the congregation became Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd so as to reflect our internationality.
The spirituality of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd is centred on the person of Christ. Devotion to the Heart of Jesus and Mary, love of God’s will and zeal for the salvation of souls are distinguishing characteristics derived from the doctrine of St.John Eudes. In contemplative the Heart of Jesus, Sister Mary Euphrasia experienced the compassion and solicitude of the Good Shepherd. Her burning desire to share in the redemptive mission of Jesus was accomplished through her love of the cross, of the Eucharist and her loving obedience to the Church. She recognized the image of God in each person, instilling in her sisters respect for the dignity of all persons.
Congregational Leader Sr.Brigid Lawlor
Province Leader Sr.Michelle Lopez
Sector Leader Sr.Veronica Anthony
Total members in Congregation about 5000
Total members in Myanmar (Sisters) 42
Ministries in Myanmar:
1. Day care centers for the unfortunate children
2. Health ministry
3. Vocational and Leadership Training Program
4. Residence for the students
5. Mother and Baby Home Center
6. Youth Ministries
7. Basic Community Development
8. Pastoral Ministry
9. Educational Scholarship Program for Children