About The Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

In fidelity we strive to be prayerful women of faith, vision and courage as we dedicate our lives to renewing all things in Christ. We have a particular focus of caring for earth, our common home.

We abide by the words of Clare of Assisi, first Franciscan woman:


“What you hold, may you always hold, what you do, may you always do and never abandon. But with swift pace, light step, unswerving feet so that even your steps stir up no dust, may you go forward securely, joyfully, and swiftly on the path of prudent happiness…

so that you may offer your vows to the Most High in the pursuit of that love to which the Spirit of the Lord has called you.”

– St. Clare of Assisi

Who We Are

We are Franciscan women religious bound together by a common mission and a common heart.

Our common mission is to be a transforming presence in society. We dedicate our lives to witness the Gospel compassionately and joyfully. We enable and empower others to live with hope and joy. We have a special commitment to care for creation, the first book written by God.

Our common heart calls us into a profound relationship with each other, all God’s people and creation as we live simply and witness to God’s spirit moving in the world.

Through public profession of vows we each commit to ”loving as Jesus Christ loves, to sharing as He shares and to listening to Him in all of reality, so that all creation might be renewed in Him”.

Since our beginnings in St. Louis in 1901 our Sisters have been prayerful women of faith, prophetic vision and courage as we embrace daily conversion of heart.

What We Do

The Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help witness, proclaim, invite and engage the Gospel of life where we live in neighborhoods, where we minister in social service agencies, parishes, national offices, where we pray in churches, in parks, in homes, and where we celebrate the Divine Mystery with laughter, stories, and hope.

Throughout our history we have been known for our joyful spirit, for serving with others with humility, for being prayerful and hopeful women. We do not focus on one place, one ministry, or one institution for our identity. We focus on a common heart. We believe the world is our cloister and go forth enabling and empowering people to live the Gospel with hope and joy.

We serve as CEO’s of national not-for-profit organizations, as directors of programs in technical training schools, as pastoral associates, principals and teachers in Catholic parishes, as directors of food pantries and social service agencies, as hospital chaplains and hospice volunteers, as counselors and pharmacy technicians, as receptionists and librarians, as directors of retreat centers and administrative assistants.

We welcome others to join with us in advancing the Gospel mission.

Where We Are

Through the years since 1901 we have served where there was a need for the Gospel to be shared.

Our ministry was mobile, taking us to the cornfields, farms and plains of the Midwest, to coal mining towns of Southern Illinois and steel mills of West Virginia, to the heart of large cities like St. Louis, Chicago, and Omaha, to expanding suburbs, to missions in the Southwest and Native American reservations, to the bayous of Louisiana.

Teachers were needed in Catholic schools – we were there. Nurses were needed in nursing homes and rehabilitation hospitals – we were there. Sisters were needed to bring integration to the South – we were there. An outreach presence among the poor was needed — we were there.

Like our three Foundresses, Mother Hilaria, Mother Solana, and Mother Ernestine, we went where the Gospel called us — no place was too far, no person was too lowly, no service was too humble.

Currently we serve in diverse ministries and agencies in 11 states.

“Sent into the whole world, they should give witness by word and work to God’s voice and make known to all that only God is all-powerful”

– Third Order Rule