Spirituality of The Sisters of Mary

God Calls. We Respond.”

These two simple sentences are the two first sentences in the Sisters of Mary constitution. They lay the groundwork for the simplicity of life each Sister of Mary is called to live. Hundreds of women have laid down their life for the poor, the needy, the destitute. They not only serve the poor, but they live poverty with them. They live a Eucharistic centered life which is reflected in the simplicity of their life.


Our Lady of Banneux, “The Virgin of the Poor,” is the patroness of the Sisters of Mary. This smiling Virgin of the poor, “who comes to relieve suffering,” is the living book from whom the Sisters of Mary learn the nature of their calling and the essence of their charism.


“Let us serve the Lord with joy!”


The Sisters of Mary take make 5 vows, in memory of the 5 wounds of Jesus on the cross.

1. Poverty

2. Chastity

3. Obedience

4. Service of the Poor

5. Three hours of daily prayer


We are poor in possession and disposition. We remain poor in the ways of the world and in the eyes of the learned. We attend to the poor as a preferential option with predilection. The simplicity of our religious vocation, of our spiritual formation, and our apostolic mission is the premise of the simplicity of the life we have as individuals in the life we live as a community. Our intentions are plain, our expectations are few, our requirements are little, so we can give more, do much.”


Chaste for the Kingdom of Heaven and pure in heart in order to see God, we proclaim our betrothal to Christ with absolute fidelity and total honesty to the avowed exclusion of everybody and everything that would seperate us from our love of God, and that could alienate us from our communion with Christ.”


“In the humble spirit of Christ Who was obedient to His elders and Who became obedient even unto death, by the vow of obedience, we submit ourselves to fulfill the dispositions given by our legitmate Superiors who act in the place of God when they give commands in accordance with these constitutions. We consider obedience in faith and with love as a vital sign of spiritual maturity and emotional security.”

Service of the Poor

A Sister of Mary shall serve the poor –especially needy children –in the name of Christ.


  • Service in the name of Christ is primarily: self-sacrificing, humble, and spiritual
  • Service in the name of Christ is secondarily: kind, friendly, direct, personal, free, modern, complete, and universal.

Daily Prayer

A Sister of Mary prays three hours a day in imitation of Christ nailed to the cross.


  • She prays first for her own sanctification; and secondly, for the salvation of the poor –entrusted to her care.
  • The prayer of the Sisters of Mary is centered on the Eucharist (communion and adoration); on Mary (especially the rosary); and on the Saints (meditative reading of their lives and writings)

    “Only by loving, serving, giving and helping each other, will we become fully, intensely and richly alive.”

    – Fr. Aloysius Schwartz, Founder

    Learn more about the children

    The children at our schools come from the poorest of the poor. Each child has their own stories of what their life was before coming to our schools and how their lives are being transformed by the Sisters of Mary programs.  Read the moving stories of our children in their own words. 

    Meet Our Graduates

    There are 160,000+  graduates from the Sisters of Mary Schools. Many of our graduates went on to live prosperous lives, helping their families and local communities. Read the inspiring stories of our graduates in their own words. 

    Life At Our Villages

    Learn more about how we help children break free from a life of poverty.