Francis Germovnik, C.M.


The relationship of the Congregation’s superior general to the Daughters of Charity is explored from a historico-juridical perspective. Authority over the Daughters was granted to Vincent de Paul, but not to his successors. Louise de Marillac saw to it that the superior general would govern and direct the Daughters in perpetuity. The following topics are discussed: how the Daughters went from confraternity to community status; the specific ways in which the superior general leads them and how his authority developed from the Daughters’ beginning until the twentieth century; nineteenth century disputes about his authority over the Daughters, which included schisms among the French and Spanish Daughters; claims of the bishops regarding the Daughters; and the Daughters’ Constitutions as they pertain to powers and responsibilities of the superior general and superioress general.