Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary
Hội Dòng Nữ Tu Bác Ái Chúa Giêsu và Mẹ Maria
Region of Our Lady of La Vang, Vietnam
Miền Đức Mẹ La Vang, Việt Nam

About us

About Us


The Congregation of the Sisters of Charity

The Congregation of the Sisters of Charity had a modest beginning in the rural district of Lovendegem, Belgium. At the beginning of 1803 Peter Joseph Triest was appointed parish priest in Lovendegem. The poverty, the moral depravity, the crying need for education and care of the sick spurred P.J. Triest into action. Responding to the local needs, he gathered together a few devout single women into a religious association. They soon moved into a little house in the hamlet of Appensvoorde: this was to be the cradle of the Congregation.


On 4th November 1803, the congregation of the "Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary" was canonically established.

Little by little the foundation took shape. P.J. Triest was able to rely on the assistance of Sr. Maria Theresa Van der Gauwen. She became the first superior or leader under the name of Mother Placide.


On 2nd July 1804 the first Sisters of Charity pronounced their first vows and decided also to devote their lives to "the caring of the poor and destitute".

The congregation spread quickly throughout Belgium and in several countries of the world in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Wherever they are they bear witness before the world to the primacy of love. They become what they are called to be: contemplative in action. Such, in the Church, is the vocation as Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary.


Our Charism Today

Rooted in the love of the Father who is compassion and tenderness we live the life of Jesus guided by the Spirit in an attitude of self-emptying, we move out to the most vulnerable of our society.

Photo: SCJM GC17, file attached


To be able to live these three dimensions of love, we have received a spirituality from our founders which is a combination of the spirituality of St. Bernard of Clairvaux and that of St. Vincent de Paul. Thus the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary are Contemplatives in Action. Simply put, it is to seek God with an undivided heart that inevitably enables one to reach out to others especially the poor and the less fortunate through various services.

Contemplation or union with God is at the heart of our vowed consecration and is expressed by
  • An open ear: a deep and dynamic listening to God, others and the contemporary world.
  • An open heart: the experience of being loved by God, the energizing force driving us to love others as God loves us.
  • Open hands: Solidarity which enables us to hear the cry of those who suffer, to empathize with them and to respond by freely giving and receiving.

Such, in the Church, is our vocation as Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary. Wherever we are we bear witness before the world to the primacy of love. As our whole life becomes a response to the gift that is offered us, we become what we are called to be: contemplative in action. (Constitutions art. 8)

Our motto: “Cor Unum Anima Una” – One Heart and One Soul

As consecrated women, true to our motto: ONE HEART AND ONE SOUL (Acts 4:32), we are in prayerful communion with each other, accepting our uniqueness and recognizing our differences.
This sense of communion extends to people of all nation, cultures and religions with whom we come in contact.
We also aim to encourage an ever-deepening sense of the sacredness in everything: nature, persons, places, situations and events.


Our mission as Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary is to reveal that GOD IS LOVE, especially to the poor and the abandoned of our time. Impelled by the love of Jesus, we commit ourselves to the mission of promoting the reign of God in our particular society and in the world at large. This mission of revealing that God is love is central to our call as religious and it is the basis of all our services

By the very nature of our call to be Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary, we receive a special grace to fulfill this mission. We call this our charism, which is love, expressed in the three dimensions of our life – love for God, love for one another in the communities and love for all people especially the poor who are abandoned by the world.

Our founder, Peter Joseph Triest saw this love as a legacy from Christ himself. Therefore “the Charism of every SCJM lies in the particular way in which she unifies in her life, the three dimensions of union with God, service of our neighbor and life in community. This unification is woven into life itself”. (Constitution art. 6)

SCJM all over the world

From a very small beginning in Lovendegem, the Congregation spread and grew. Apart from Belgium, the Congregation now serves in fourteen other countries spread out in the three Continents of Europe, Africa and Asia.