Our Story

The Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart trace our spiritual roots to the faith and charism of St. Marguerite d’Youville, the Mother of Universal Charity. The only American congregation of Grey Nuns, we were founded in Buffalo in 1921, as an independent English-speaking congregation to minister in the United States.

D'Youville watercolorOur first ministry in Buffalo was to educate young women at D’Youville College. In 1922, we established a Motherhouse in Elkins Park, outside of Philadelphia. In 1966, we moved to a larger Motherhouse in Yardley, Pennsylvania.

For many years, Grey Nuns served in traditional ministries such as elementary and secondary education, in nursing and in caring for orphans. In addition to East Coast states New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, our sisters carried the charism of St. Marguerite d’Youville south to Georgia and north to Alaska.Maria Cristi

After 1965, in fulfillment of Marguerite’s prayer to multiply our works of charity, we began to serve in more diverse ministries, in response to a wider variety of human needs. Like our foundress, we have, through our ministries, reached out to the poor, the young and the elderly, the ill and the most marginalized members of society.

ConnieToday, Grey Nuns continue to pray, to help and heal, to advocate to improve social and economic conditions and to promote values of compassion, social justice and reverence for life.


The Grey Nuns