Three centuries of service worldwide The story of Sisters of Saint Paul de Chartres
The history of the Sisters of Saint Paul de Chartres extends over three hundred years; it is a long history of Love, written in a mysterious way and hidden in the hearts of thousands of women.
In 1696, Fr. Louis Chauvet, the Parish Priest of Levesville-la-Chenard, a small village in France, formed and trained a few young girl volunteers with the help of Marie Anne de Tilly, to teach the poor children, as well as to visit the sick and the aged.
The first group of Sisters had to overcome many setbacks, including the untimely death of Marie Michau (first Superior), Mother Marie Anne de Tilly and Fr. Chauvet. Providentially, as guided by God’s wisdom, Fr. Chauvet had entrusted the growing community to the care of Bishop of Chartres, Bishop Paul Godet de Marais, who gave the Sisters the name of his own patron Saint, St. Paul the Aspostle-hence, Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres.
The Sisters earned their living by selling embroideries and needle works. Their dedicated service with love in the field of education and medical care gained recognition soon. They were invited to deliver service in other parishes. The community started to spread to other places in and outside France.
From Chartres the first call to the mission was to far-off French Guiana, South America in 1727.
In response to the request of Monsignor Augustin Forcade, Prefect Apostolic of Hong Kong, four Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres – Sr. Alphonsine(Monsignor’s own sister), Sr. Auguste Gallois, Sr. Gabrielle Joubin, and Sr. Louise Morse, arrived in Hong Kong on 12th September, 1848, after a perilous four month’s voyage from France. They started their holy mission of saving souls for God in the Far East by taking care of unwanted babies, mostly girls, abandoned everyday by their mothers.
More Sisters came to Hong Kong. Being filled with the zeal of unselfish devotion, their mission of Love broadened to different fields as taking care of the aged, the sick and the handicapped, as well as education and health care.
一八六○年修女們的工作更由香港伸展到越南，香港繼而成為修會在亞洲的發展中心。逐漸擴展到日本 (1878)，韓國 (1888)，泰國 (1898)，中國內陸 (1899)，菲律賓 (1904)。修會更由菲律賓發展到印尼 (1967)，及其後從香港發展至台灣 (1960)及澳洲 (1984)。
The zeal of the Sisters to spread the Kingdom of God drove them beyond the shores of Hong Kong , first in Macau in 1854 and then to Vietnam in 1860, from where wave after wave of missionary Sisters landed in Japan, Korea, Thailand, mainland China, and the Philippines. Sisters were sent from Hong Kong to Taiwan in 1960 and Australia in 1984.
After 300 years of existence, the SPC Sisters is now a large international family with about 4000 Sisters dispersed in 32 countries across five continents. In Hong Kong, the Sisters run two hospitals, a nurse training school, four secondary schools, two primary schools, one kindergarten and two day nurseries. In Taiwan, the Sisters take care of a hospital in Taoyuan, and have set up two boarding houses for female college students in Taipei County and Kaohsiung.
No matter where they abode, the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres will dedicate themselves totally to the apostolic mission of furthering the Kingdom of God.