Daughters of Divine Charity

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Franziska Lechner

The Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Charity are an international congregation of Roman Catholic religious sisters. The mother house is in Vienna. The congregation uses the post-nominal “FDC”, from the Latin, Filiae Divinae Caritatis.


Franziska Lechner was born in Bavaria, Germany. For a time she was a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame and then, after leaving that congregation she worked with a priest in Switzerland where she founded a hospital and several schools.[1]

Lechner traveled to Vienna and applied for permission to organize a women’s congregation, which was founded November 21, 1868. It was and approved by the Holy See in 1884 and definitively confirmed July 22, 1891. As the congregation grew, Mother Franziska adopted the Rule of Saint Augustine for her Sisters. She began her work by opening St. Mary's Homes for working girls during the European Industrial Revolution. The purpose of the congregation was to furnish girls without positions, shelter, care and the means of obtaining a position; likewise to care for servants no longer able to work. The Sisters were also engaged in schools, orphan asylums, and kindergartens.[2] Within a short time, the Sisters began opening schools in many areas of the Austro-Hungarian empire as well as retirement homes for the poor.[1]

Mother Franziska Lechner died in Austria in 1894. She has been named a "Servant of God".[1]

As of 2017, there are over 1,000 members of the congregation, who profess the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. Their apostolic works now extend to the education of youth, providing care and home for the elderly, the mentally, physically and psychologically disabled.

Countries where the order exists[edit]

Holy Family Province is based in Arrochar, Staten Island;[3] Holy Trinity Province in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Members serve in the Archdioceses of New York and Detroit and the Dioceses of Cleveland, Fort Wayne/South Bend and San Diego.

The Sisters arrived in England in 1914, where their main apostolate has been in education. They operate a school in Swaffham, a nursery in Chesterfield and a small care home in Hunstanton. In the Parishes where our Convents are situated, many of the Sisters are Eucharistic ministers, visit the sick, elderly and housebound among other needs.[4] In October 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Sisters started a program to offer free meals in a trendy neighborhood of London on condition the customers turn off their phones and converse with fellow diners.[5] In November, they participated in a reality program, "Bad Habits, Holy Orders", in which five young women were invited to live at their convent and try to adapt to the different lifestyle.[6]

There is also have a missionary community in Uganda.[4]


  • Albania
  • Africa
  • Austria
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Kosovo
  • Republic of Macedonia|Macedonia
  • Poland
  • Slovakia
  • Ukraine

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Daughters of Divine Charity". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.


  • "Divine charity, Daughters of", New Catholic Encyclopedia, volume Com-Dyn, Catholic University of America, Thomson/Gale, 2003, p. 786.

External links[edit]