The Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd (also known as Good Shepherd Sisters) is an international congregation of religious women in the Roman Catholic Church, numbering almost 3,625 present in 72 countries in five continents.
As religious we are called to a mission of reconciliation, “we express our charism of merciful love through a contemplative life or an apostolic life.” (Constitutions, Article 1)
More and more people are journeying with us in different ways, for example: “Lay Associates of the Good Shepherd”, Friends of the Good Shepherd”, volunteers, benefactors, etc. and in this way we mutually develop our “Shepherding Gifts”.
The motivating force in our lives comes from a sense of being loved by God and feeling particularly attracted to Christ in His shepherding expression of this love. This gift or sensitivity is referred to in religious language as the “charism”.
Our service traditionally and currently is particularly with women and children who have been wounded by life’s circumstances and live on the edge of society. We accompany those who are in need and also network with other groups to change unjust structures in society. In religious language, our service is generally referred to as “ministry” or “apostolate”.
Like other religious, we consecrate ourselves publicly to God through vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. As Good Shepherd Sisters, we add an additional fourth vow of zeal. Prayer forms an important part of each day. We live in faith communities of different sizes, related to the needs of the apostolate.