Zeal animates our lives as Sisters of the Good Shepherd. It is our fourth religious vow and one of the four core values of the Province of Mid-North America. The practice of zeal — the activity of love in service — is our source of union with God.
Zeal is a religious vow that Sisters of the Good Shepherd take, in addition to taking vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The fourth vow of zeal hearkens to our early history. As a missionary traveling throughout France during the troubled 17th century, Father John Eudes witnessed the moral distress and exploitation of many girls and women. He established a refuge for girls and women who wanted to change their lives. He entrusted the refuge to some Sisters who wished to share with him a service of charity. The refuge was the beginning of what would later become the Order of Our Lady of Charity. To demonstrate the beauty of their vocation and to ensure that they remained faithful to their specific mission of helping troubled women, Fr. Eudes gave the Sisters a fourth vow — the vow of zeal for the salvation of souls.
Zeal carried out through two lifestyles
A Sister of the Good Shepherd can express her zeal for God’s people through one of two lifestyles, either as an apostolic or contemplative Sister. Our apostolic community of Sisters serves others through social justice and human service ministries across the United States. Our contemplative community of Sisters supports the Good Shepherd apostolic ministries through prayer. Contemplative Sisters also serve the Church through a ministry of prayer and a dedication to the Eucharist by making and distributing altar bread.
While the two lifestyles are vastly different, Sisters of the Good Shepherd share a common vision of saving souls through compassion, mercy and reconciliation. If you are hearing a call to religious life or are in discernment about a vocation, we would like to meet you.