The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres is an institute of apostolic life in the Church. Founded in 1696 in France by Father Louis Chauvet, parish priest of a small village, Levesville-la-Chenard, they were called to Chartres by the Bishop, Paul Godet des Marais, given the name Sisters of St. Paul, with St. Paul the Apostle as their Patron and the Blessed Virgin Mary as their Model and Protectress. Dedicated to education, care of the sick and ministry among the underprivileged, the Congregation of more than 4000 sisters today serve in 32 countries in six continents of the world.
The Philippine Province is a hundred and fourteen years old this year. Invited to the Philippines by Bishop Frederick Z. Rooker for the "protection of the faith" the Sisters of St. Paul were the first of the European Congregations to come to the Philippines at the onset of the American Regime. They arrived on 29 October 1904 in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental. Instituto de San Pablo became the first of more than a hundred mission houses they would open in their first 100 years in the Philippines.
Today, more than 462 Filipino Sisters of St. Paul run 60 houses in the country with 40 schools, 14 health care facilities, 6 pastoral centers and 10 houses under the Provincialate. Fourty- three houses are in Luzon, 11 in the Visayas and 12 in Mindanao. Several Sisters serve the greater Church in various capacities as managers and organizers of Church Programs. Under the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, they assist at the Family Life Ministry, Ministry among Migrant Workers, Religious Education, Catechetics, formation of campus ministers and catechists, advocacy work for indigenous groups, and communication media. With the Association of Major Religious, they look to the promotion of women, street children and other marginalized groups. Fifty-eight Filipino St. Paul Sisters serve in 18 mission countries which include Central Africa, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, France, England, Ireland, Italy, Thailand, Hongkong, Canada, the United States, Hawaii, Indonesia, East Timor, and Israel.
Teachers, healers, pastoral workers, missionaries, servants of the Church - this is the Philippine Province of the Congregation today.
(Bread for the World)