St. John the Baptist, Sisters of

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(CSJB, Official Catholic Directory #3820); a congregation that began in Angri, southern Italy, when Canon Alfonso Maria Fusco (d. 1910) organized a group of women to take care of orphaned and abandoned children. Maddalena Caputo, a young woman who desired to consecrate herself to God in religion, and at the same time devote her life to the care of the needy and the poor, joined with Fusco in his project. On Sept. 25, 1878, Maddalena and three companions began their work. The rapid growth of the congregation resulted in the opening of houses throughout Italy. On Aug. 2, 1888, the bishop of Nocera, where the motherhouse was then located, approved the community. The final approbation of the Holy See in 1927 placed the congregation under pontifical jurisdiction. Mother Bernardino d'Auria brought the sisters to the United States in 1906, when she came with five companions to assume the direction of St. Lucy's parish school and orphanage in Newark, New Jersey. The community has since extended its work to education, health-care, care of the elderly and children. In 1939 four members of the United States community went to assist their sisters from Italy to establish a foundation in Brazil. The following year sisters from the United States opened a mission in Chile, another in Rhodesia (modern Zimbabwe) in 1947, and in Canada in 1962. The generalate is in Rome; the United States provincialate is in Bronx, New York.

[a. gallo/eds.]

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St. John the Baptist, Sisters of

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