History of the American Region

 The history of the American Region dates back to 1912. But it all started a few years before.

The beginning

Pastor Kálmán Kováts in McKeesport, Diocese of Pittsburgh, USA, asked the sisters in Sopron to come to America. The first four sisters came to the States and started working in McKeesport, Pennsylvania in 1912. They especially cared for Hungarian families, who had immigrated to the USA.

Father Kálmán Kováts

The first four Sisters in America:
Sister Sabina, Sister Cassiana, Sister Berchmans, Sister Frederick


Stained glass windows in the Chapel were designed to trace the history of arrival

The Sisters taught the children, cared for the sick, collaborated with parishes, and, especially, brought children “The Good News of Jesus”. This was done in the family kitchens. The Sisters travelled to Elizabeth, North Braddock, Allegheny, Homestead, Daisytown and Pittsburgh.

Establishment of the American Province

The area of work increased. More sisters from Hungary were needed. But World War I (1914 -1918) stopped communication between Europe and the USA. Superior, Sister Sabina, travelled to Sopron in 1920. She returned with 13 sisters in 1921. New communities were opened in Philadelphia, Hazelwood, Toledo, and in Ohio. By this time, the Sisters received permission to begin working on the legal aspects of establishing an American Province of the community.

First Provincial Motherhouse in the McKeesport

Mother General, Mother Bonaventure, visited America and brought with her the official document from the Sacred Congregation, which established the American Province. In 1924 the American Province was founded with those existing communities. Mother Sabina was named the first Provincial Superior.
In 1926, the summerhouse with land around it was purchased in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. It should function as the Provincial House. It was enlarged and rebuilt, so it could serve the challenges of the new Province.

Second Provincial Motherhouse in the Elizabeth, PA

Let us pray with us and for us: 
God, our Father, You willed that your redemptive love would be brought to America. Help us to be grateful to You for the glorious history of our Congregation and to look to the future with hope trusting that we are in your hands. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

➢ Lord Jesus, through your shepherd of souls, Father Kovats, you called our Sisters from Hungary to America. Give us the grace to carefully listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and walk faithfully toward the goal in trust with our eyes fixed on You.
➢ Lord Jesus, may we always remember the history of our Congregation with gratitude and appreciate the work our Sisters have done before us.
➢ Lord Jesus, bless our Congregation with new members and help us to exercise our charism, new initiatives, and apostolic charity for your great honor and glory.

➢ God, our Father, You willed to develop our Congregation by establishing the American Province. You led the first Sisters to seek your will and to speak about You to those entrusted to them, so that everyone could taste your goodness. Help us to continue in our mission according to your will.
➢ Lord Jesus Christ, the first Sisters of the American Province took up your mission, worked and suffered with you in the spreading of your Kingdom and joyfully served to God and neighbors. We ask you for constancy and perseverance, so that we will have the strength to walk forward every day and be a sign of your presence in this world.
➢ Holy Spirit, guide and sustain us, both in our personal spiritual journeys and in our lives of communion and apostolic work.

"Deo Gracias" for all graces our Congregation received throughout these hundred years.

The growth of the Province

The Province was able to build some new Communities in the following states: New York and Ohio. More schools and hospitals were taken over. Work which started small, spread over long distances. In 1933 the American Province was given the legal Status under the laws of Pennsylvania as a Juridical Person.

Villa Teresa, in Darby

In 1936, the Province purchased a house in Darby, that was the Scott Mansion and Estate. The building was adapted for an orphanage and retirement home.

The number of sisters who spoke the English language increased. Since 1943, retreats had to be held in two languages – in English and Hungarian. In 1948 and in 1955, several Hungarian sisters came from Europe to the United States. They helped with the work in the Province. A new Motherhouse and a big chapel were built in Elizabeth from 1959 until 1961.

Motherhouse with Chapel in Elizabeth, PA

In 1964, the Province had 131 professed sisters, 12 novices and 2 postulants. The sisters did their apostolic work in the spirit of Mother Alphonse Marie in education, religious instruction in parishes, in nursing homes and in hospitals, and in caring for the elderly and sick in their homes.

New challenges

Up to now elderly and sick people are cared for in the nursing home "Little Flower Manor“ located in Darby, PA. It is still the property of the sisters, but is managed by a company.

Little Flower Manor in Darby

In the 1970s, the Sisters of the Divine Redeemer took on more special education assignments for the Mentally Retarded and for Exceptional Children. They undertook new ventures in 1976 with the opening of the Penn View Art Center under the direction of Sister M. Edith, giving art classes in this building on the grounds of the Motherhouse in Elizabeth.

By the end of the 1980s, the Sisters of the Divine Redeemer were responsible for the administration of two schools, teaching assignments in four schools, religious education in five parishes and administering in two parishes, staffing in one hospital, care of the aged and sick in two facilities, an industrial nursing position, and running an art center.

The last decade of the 20th century witnessed the start of new services provided at the Motherhouse including homeschooling and piano lessons. The sisters were, also, involved in CCD, social ministry and conducted vacation Bible school.

Closing of schools and other institutions had become common by the beginning of the 21st century. But while some doors closed, others opened. The Motherhouse continued to reach out to the community as friends and neighbors were welcomed to the Divine Redeemer Chapel for Mass and other religious services, Days of Reflection and other activities.

Since April 11, 2012 the American Province became the American Region.

Prayer apostolate
We Remember
Merciful Jesus, grant them eternal rest.
13Sister M. Calasantia Wegerbauer 1969
19Sister M. Sebastian Laub 1992
25Sister M. Ancilla Verosto 2008
28Sister M. Cecilia Hogya 2008
30Sister M. Angela Kun 1997

Mass Schedule:
7:30 AMMonday:
7:30 AMTuesday:
7:30 AMWednesday:
7:30 AMThursday:
7:30 AMFriday:
8:00 AMSaturday:
8:00 AMSunday:
8:00 AMHolidays:
Holy Hour - Adoration:
Thursday before First Friday: 7:00 - 8:00 PM