The Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of St Charles Borromeo – Scalabrinians was founded by Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini in Piacenza on October 25, 1895, with the co-founders, the servant of God Father Joseph Marchetti and Blessed Assunta Marchetti.
The Congregation has its General House in Rome, it is made up of 3 provinces, and 1 Delegation in Asia and are present in 26 countries. The headquarters of Our Lady of Fatima Province is in Melrose Park, Illinois U.S.A., and the sisters have missions in: Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico and United States of America.
The Scalabrinian Missionary Sisters have dedicated themselves – and still do – to education, social and pastoral activities, the pastoral care of the sick, catechesis, evangelization, and collaboration with local churches to assist migrants and refugees and the poor. In response to the challenges of human mobility and faithful to the charism that the Church has entrusted to her, the Congregation becomes present through the witness of consecrated life and in the evangelical and missionary service to migrants and refugees, especially to the poorest and neediest. The spirit that animates it is of universal communion, for it desires to make visible the vocation of the members to recognize, love and serve Christ in the person of migrants and refugees.
Faithful to the charism and attentive to the challenges of mobility, the Congregation accepts the Church’s proposal to place itself at the service of those caught up in the phenomenon of migration, and to be “signs of God’s tender love toward the human race and … special witnesses to the mystery of the Church, Virgin, Bride and Mother” (John Paul II, Vita consecrata, 57), as prompted by the words of the Gospel, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35).
By living the Scalabrinian charism, Scalabrinian Sisters welcome God’s love as a gift to be passed on to those suffering the hardship of being migrants.
In this way they guarantee the continuation of the prophetic intuition of the Congregation’s Founder, Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini, who translated this intuition into a practical socio-pastoral project, entrusting its early steps in history to the generous determination of the Cofounders, the Servant of God, Father Joseph Marchetti and Blessed Assunta Marchetti.
The charism of the MSCS Sisters arose at the time of the great Italian emigration toward the Americas at the end of the 19th century, as a response of faith that took practical shape as an institution. It continues with the spiritual heirs of Blessed Scalabrini: the Missionaries of St Charles, the Missionary Sisters of St Charles Borromeo – -Scalabrinians, and the Secular Scalabrinian Missionaries, who drew their inspiration from Bishop Scalabrini, was added at a more recent date – and the Scalabrinian Lay Missionaries.
As time passed, the underlying value of certain elements inherent in history was grasped, such as the latin word “humilitas”, which had a determining place in the spirituality of the Founder, who in turn had drawn it from St. Charles Borromeo, the patron, to whom he entrusted his congregation. From this word MSCS Sisters learn to be “sisters”, “servants”, “free gift”.
Accompanying and supporting migrants in their exodus, the Sisters also seek to draw inspiration from the Risen One who, on the road to Emmaus, comes “close” and who, with pedagogical tact, takes the initiative in a dialogue that leads the disciples to the discovery of his identity, in other words the Truth. Migrants in turn become teachers to them, calling them to constant renewal.