Ladies of Charity

The Association of the Ladies of Charity of Saint Paul Cathedral Parish, in the traditional spirit of humility, simplicity, and charity, invite you to serve.

Our Ministries and Activities:

  • Visitation – We visit and pray the rosary with the sick, homebound, and residents in nursing homes.
  • Hospitality – We provide lunches for a local women’s shelter on a monthly basis.
  • Prayerful Stitching – We crochet and knit prayer shawls for the bereaved or seriously ill. We embroider baptismal bibs with a symbol of the Holy Spirit for infant baptisms.
  • Warm Clothing – We collect and distribute coats and sweaters for the less fortunate in the Oakland area.
  • Blood Drives – We organize two Blood Drives per year in support of the Pittsburgh Blood Bank.
  • Parish Food Pantry and Giving Tree – We support the parish food pantry, and the Giving Tree during Advent.
  • Ministry of Prayer – We collect prayer requests from parishioners on a continual basis, and uphold them on during a special mass held monthly.
  • Mass of the Anointing – We coordinate a yearly mass to uphold those who are experiencing a serious illness or surgery, or who are dealing with weakness or health problems due to advancing age.

Spirit and Virtues

Ladies of Charity was the first of the great foundations established by St Vincent de Paul. He said, “The confraternity of the Ladies of Charity sprang from God in order to honor our Lord Jesus Christ as the source and model of all charity.” Ladies of Charity imitate the Divine Savior by providing for the corporal and spiritual needs of the poor in the spirit of humility, simplicity, and charity.

Our Ladies of Charity members are:

  • women of diverse backgrounds and ages.
  • women of all professions, retirees, and homemakers
  • women who are motivated by the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton to help those in need.


The idea to begin the Ladies of Charity came to St Vincent de Paul when he was pastor at Chatillon-les-Dombes in the Diocese of Lyons, France. Before mass on a Sunday in August 1617, a parishioner told him of a family living on a farm close by that had become ill and were in dire need. St. Vincent de Paul was so affected by the recounting of their suffering, and he told the story with such feeling to his congregation, that many went to the family with food and other necessities. After Vespers, St Vincent went to the farm and there he saw the abundance of provisions donated in response to his appeal. He realized the efficacy of his words, but he noticed that, “This poor family will have too many provisions at one time and some of them will be spoiled and wasted; in a short time these persons will be reduced to their former state of need. Would it not be possible to convince these good women to give themselves to God to serve the poor permanently?” A few days later, he assembled several women of the parish and suggested to them they band together to carry out this good work. They agreed. He outlined rules, which were approved by the Archbishop of Lyons. This resulted in the formation of the first association of the Ladies of Charity. It was canonically approved on December 8, 1617 on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Hence the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is the patron feast day of Ladies of Charity.

Other Resources


Mission Statement


• Assist local associations to continue, expand and improve their charitable and spiritual works according to the directives and in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton through personal service to those in need.

• Encourage and aid in communications, to promote and strengthen unity, to share ideas and information among all the associations, and to foster the formation of new associations of Ladies of Charity in collaboration with the other branches of the Vincentian family.

• Foster more vital links with the International Association of Charities to profit from the experiences of Ladies of Charity world wide, and to be supportive of sister associations in their efforts to respond to unmet needs.