Society of Vincent de Paul Professors > Projects > Daughters of Charity Oral History Project

Daughters of Charity Oral History Project

Purpose: How is it that women of the Vincentian tradition live together far from their homes, some of those homes in Ireland, England, Ethiopia, the United States, Ghana, Eritrea, Tanzania, and other places on the African continent? What sustains them? How are they living out the Vincentian declaration that "love is inventive to infinity?" The purpose of this project is to seek answers to these questions and record the oral histories of the Daughters of Charity that work through out Kenya.

Because they have spent much time as part of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies' degree program at Tangaza College in Nairobi, Kenya, Marisa Alicea and Ann Fowell Stanford have also gotten to know many of the Daughters of Charity, who work throughout Kenya. Aside from the extraordinary work they do with the poorest of the poor and those who are surviving HIV/AIDS, they also have compelling, sometimes dramatic, stories about their lives as Vincentian religious women living, on some days extraordinary, and on other days ordinary, lives in a multi-racial, multi-ethnic and age-diverse community.

VdPP Coordinators: Marisa Alicea and Ann Fowell Standford (both from SCPS)

Project: The interviews have touched on issues like change, race and ethnicity, context of ministry, effect of family hstories on their spirituality and life choices, personal spiritual brokenness and healing, among many other topics and themes. Some of the Daughters have faced death and personal violence and have remained in Africa, despite the potential peril. Why is this? What kind of spirituality nurtures the activism and joy the Daughters demonstrate? How does the fact of their own humanity help and hinder their work? The answers to these and other questions are rich in insight and tell a wonderful story of the spirits of Vincent and Louise incarnate and fully human in the contemporary world.​​