Presenter Information

Judith Metz S.C.


Judith Metz explores what motivated a small group of Sisters of Charity to become a diocesan community, the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. American culture encouraged women to think independently and to be self-sufficient. Margaret George, the superior in Cincinnati, had a friendship with Elizabeth Seton that predated the founding of the Sisters of Charity, and she understood Elizabeth’s vision for the community. She and the other sisters had come to expect the flexibility and spirit of collaboration that had been present in the community’s government from its earliest days. Instead, it seemed that Emmitsburg was following the letter of the Constitutions, rather than its spirit. Furthermore, priests undertook the union of the Sisters and the Daughters of Charity. They did not discuss it with the Sisters and ignored their serious concerns about French vow formula and the effects that adopting French customs would have on their work. In becoming a separate community, George and the other sisters acted according to “the workings of the Spirit in their lives” and what they believed was Elizabeth’s vision.