Written on: October 15, 2021
On this Feast Day of St. Marguerite d’Youville,- October 16, 2021, we recall her beatification by Pope John XXIII, when he called her the “Mother of Universal Charity.”
As her spiritual daughters, the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart continue this part of her legacy by striving to create a compassionate world. Initially, we brought that spirit of charity and compassion to the thousands of students: youths, adolescents, teens, and adults, who found themselves in our classrooms. A hallmark of our educational style was the spirit of kindness and real interest with which we approached not the subject we taught, but the people we instructed.
As we moved into ministries other than teaching, we brought that same sensibility to bear on the many different situations in which we found ourselves. We became nurses, social workers, parish support staff, chaplains, spiritual directors, and more. But, no matter our official role, our main ministry was always tending to the “Souls” we encountered.
Now, we continue to be present to the many older adults, and young helpers we meet in our daily living. Now, too, our spirit of compassion and presence extends to our concern for all the people of the world, and Earth itself.
On this Feast Day, in the 100th Year of our founding, and the 250th Anniversary Year of St. Marguerite’s death, we invite you to share in our support of the following charities and missions that flow from the original concerns that influenced St. Marguerite as she began to serve the people of Montreal.
Where possible, we have included links to learn more about these organizations. Like us, perhaps by learning about their mission, you may also wish to share something of the blessings you, too, have been given.
Care for the migrant refugee: Annunciation House. You can read about our Sisters’ experiences at the border here.
Caring for the asylum seeker:
Asylee Women Enterprise– a collaborative effort of religious congregations of women in the Baltimore, MD area where asylum seeking women and their children are received with compassion and offered housing and supportive services. Learn more here.
Martin’s House- a collaborative effort of religious congregations of women in the Philadelphia area in the former St. Martin of Tours Convent.
Caring for women and children: Marguerite’s Place. Read about the work of our Sisters here.
Feeding the hungry:
Marguerite’s Pantry. There are also many blog posts here on our website. One example here. Donations to Marguerite’s Pantry may be sent to our offices, in care of Sr. Anne Marie Beirne, GNSH, 14500 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19116.
Caring for the homeless:
Gerard Place. Provides housing and support for homeless, single-parent families in Buffalo, NY. This is a cooperative effort of 12 congregations of Women Religious in the Buffalo area. Read more here.
The Joy of Sox. This organization in the Philadelphia area provides new socks for the homeless. Did you know socks are the least donated item of clothing?
As we celebrate this Feast Day, we offer you this prayer service honoring St. Marguerite that we will also be using on Friday October 15: St Marguerite d’Youville Feast Day Prayer