The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres was founded in 1696 by Fr. Louis Chauvet, parish priest of Levesville la Chenard, a small village in the Beauce region, sixty miles Southeast of Paris, France. The poverty and misery of his parishioners made Fr. Chauvet invite some young women to help him uplift their human and spiritual condition. Marie Anne de Tilly, Marie Micheau, and Barbe Foucault, the first of many responded to help give education and care of the sick. They were simply called the "School Sisters."
Msgr. Paul Godet des Marais, Bishop of Chartres invited the Sisters to reside in Chartres where they could spread their service to more people beyond Levesville. In 1708, the good Bishop gave them their first house at St. Maurice, and gave them his name, Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartres, after the Apostle, St. Paul.
First Mission Outside France
In 1727, four sisters set out for a new mission in Cayenne, French Guiana. They were Marie Méry of Châtenay, Madeleine Bilharan of Châtenay, Marie Malèvre of Mantes and Françoise Taranne of Nogent-le-Rotrou. They spent a hundred and twenty days at sea, on board the Dromadaire of the Royal Fleet. Their mission: to direct a hospital and to instruct the children.
The SPC Philippines and Foreign Mission
In 1904, seven Sisters came to the Philippines from Saigon, Vietnam at the invitation of Bishop Frederick Rooker (1861-1907), bishop of Jaro, for the preservation of the Catholic faith in this country. Their mission started in a boarding school with 26 girls in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental. This was the first foundation of the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres in the Philippines.
Today, more than 400 Filipino Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres run a total of 60 houses in the Philippines with 36 schools, 13 healthcare facilities, 6 pastoral centers, and 5 houses abroad. Sixty two Sisters serve in countries which include Peru, Brazil, Colombia, France, England, Ireland, Italy, Hongkong, the United States, Hawaii, Indonesia, East Timor, Dubai, Congo and Israel. Education and care for the sick - these two works of charity have marked our Congregation and have been for more than 300 years the mission for which our hearts burn and to which the love of Christ impels us and sends us.