Daughters of the Cross

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(DC, Official Catholic Directory #0770), a diocesan congregation whose motherhouse is in Shreveport, Louisiana. It stems from the Daughters of the Cross who were founded in Paris about 1640 by Marie l'Huillier de Villeneuve (1597 to 1650) with the guidance and assistance of St. Vincent de Paul. In its early history the congregation experienced many difficulties and vicissitudes. Not until the 19th century was the community reorganized in its modern form, and in 1853 the initial approval of the Holy See was granted.

Two years later Mother Marie Hyacinthe Conniat led a group of ten sisters to Louisiana. They established their headquarters in Shreveport, where their principal foundation, St. Vincent's Academy, eventually became the motherhouse when in 1902 the sisters in the United States separated themselves from the congregation in France. In 1958 the United States community revised its constitutions and adopted a spiritual directory based on the teachings of St. Francis de Sales. The sisters are engaged in conducting elementary and secondary schools, schools of Christian doctrine, and women's retreat houses, all of which are located in the Diocese of Shreveport.

Bibliography: k. hofmann, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 6:616.

[m. b. riley/eds.]