Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Sisters of

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(SS.C.M., Official Catholic Directory #3780); an American congregation of religious women of papal jurisdiction founded by Matthew Jankola, priest of the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, for the care and education of Slovak children. In November 1903, with the approbation of his bishop, M. J. Hoban, Jankola placed several young women with the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be prepared for this mission. Six years later, after the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius had received papal approval, the first group professed simple temporary vows. Their constitutions, based on the rule of St. alphonus liguori, were formulated and approved in 1912, revised in 1930, and received final approbation in 1946.

The sisters opened their first school at Sacred Heart parish, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (1908), and took over the care of the new Middletown, Pennsylvania, orphanage (1914) sponsored by the First Catholic Slovak Union, which turned over some adjoining property to the congregation for a temporary motherhouse and novitiate. A permanent motherhouse, Sacred Heart Villa, was established five years later in Danville, Pennsylvania. In 1922 an academy, chartered as the First Catholic Slovak Girls High School but later titled St. Cyril Academy, was opened at the motherhouse. The sisters are engaged in academic education, catechetics, parish ministry, retreats, spiritual direction, counseling, chaplaincy, prison ministry, and care of the aged and retired.

[m. e. petrasek/eds.]