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The Daughters of Divine Charity (FDC)

In a series about the Religious Congregations living and working in the Diocese of East Anglia, Fr Karol Porczak MS, Vicar for the Religious, introduces the Daughters of Divine Charity.

In response to the call of God, on November 21, 1868, Servant of God Franziska Lechner (1833-1894) founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Charity (FDC), in Latin Filiae Divinae Caritatis.

In Vienna, Austria, seeing the many young women who were coming to the city searching for work, Franziska recognised the urgent need to save them from becoming victims of exploitation and from moral dangers. She started her apostolate by organising training schools and boarding houses for young women to enable them to receive the required education free of charge, to have a safe place to grow in understanding of their own dignity and to have an opportunity to learn about the faith.

The work of the Congregation grew rapidly as various needs of the poor women and children were recognised. The Sisters continue that work today, striving to make the invisible love of God visible, incorporating in the world the motto their Foundress left them: “To do good, to bring joy, to make happy, and to lead to Heaven”. Today about 880 Sisters live in the international communities located in 20 countries.

The Sisters of the Vice-province of the Sacred Heart have been serving God for 110 years in England. They run a Nursery in Chesterfield (Sr M. Jacinta Čirko FDC, Sr M. Francis Ridler FDC, Sr Monika Szlagor FDC and Sr Maryjohn Kamps FDC), a youth ministry in Middleton, Greater Manchester (Sr M. Linda Pergega FDC, Sr M. Leonarda Pergega FDC and Sr Anna Yeo Chai Luan FDC) and St Theresa’s Convent in Hunstanton, Diocese of East Anglia (Sr Danuta Wloczka FDC (Superior), Sr M. Thomas More Prentice FDC and Sr Mary Gonçalves FDC), offering care to the elderly.

The Sisters make a visible presence in the Diocese of East Anglia attending various events especially for young people, such as the Ignite Festival in Swaffham, where they help as volunteers and periodically organize recollection days for young women.

One of the Sisters works as a Pastoral Assistant in Our Lady and the English Martyrs Parish, Cambridge, and is a member of the Diocesan Vocations Team. Another Sister of that Community runs Bible group meetings for the parishioners as well as regular recollection days for the Lay FDC Associates.

Pictured above, from back, left to right, Sr Maryjohn, Sr M Linda, Sr Mary, Sr Danuta, Sr Monika, front, Sr Anna, Sr M Jacinta, Sr M Leonarda, Sr M Francis, Sr M Thomas More.