As members of the Church mystery, according to our common vocation-mission (charism), we work for the glory of God in the service of our neighbor especially the poor, the abandoned, and those at risk so that they may be able to realize themselves in the Church and in society and become promoters of justice and peace for a better future for humanity.
In this service, we are called to reveal and witness to the world Jesus of Nazareth in the light of and the hope in the coming of the Kingdom of God.
We affirm the charismatic centrality of Jesus of Nazareth to our Congregational identity and see in John the Baptist that privileged guide who leads us to Jesus.
We must decrease so that He (the Lord) may increase.
The Apostolic Vision
The Congregation of the Sisters of St. John the Baptist (Baptistine Sisters)
is an international group of consecrated women in the Catholic Church called “to prepare the way of the Lord” and “to reveal and witness Jesus of Nazareth to the world in the light and hope of the coming of the Kingdom of God”. As a religious family in the Church, its primary aim is the praise of God, the sanctification of its members through the action of the Holy Spirit and the service of its neighbor according to its common vocation-mission (charism) of evangelization, education and human promotion of children and youth -- especially the poor, abandoned, marginalized and at risk.
Since 1878 the Baptistine Sisters, a Roman Catholic religious community for women, have been "preparing the way of the Lord" in the lives and hearts of God’s people. Empowered by their vowed love for God and strengthened by the bonds of Community life, they seek through education, health care, and pastoral ministry to remove those obstacles which hinder people from freely accepting the Love and Word of God into their lives.
In the late 1800's war had ravaged the towns of southern Italy and death had bereaved most families. In the small town of Angri, with husbands deceased or still at war, many mothers had to leave their children and work long hours in the fields in order to provide the food, clothing and shelter for their families. The sight of so many young children left to themselves stirred the heart of a young parish priest - Father Alfonso Maria Fusco.
In 1878 after overcoming many obstacles and convinced that this was God’s work for him Father Fusco and some pious women of the parish led by Maddalena Caputo committed themselves to caring for and educating these young children. And so began the religious Community and mission of the Sisters of St. John the Baptist, commonly known as the Baptistines.
Within his lifetime Father Fusco saw the work of his Sisters begin to spread throughout Italy and then to the United States (1906). Today, the Sisters serve in 17 countries on 5 continents.
The general government of the Congregation is located in Rome, Italy.
Origin and Roots
The Congregation of the Sisters of St. John the Baptist was founded by the Servant of God, St. Alfonso Ma. Fusco, in Angri (Salerno), Italy on September 26, 1878. It was officially recognized by the Apostolic See in 1932. The Congregation was founded in response to the challenges and needs during the founder’s time -- the care of the orphaned youth and children who were poor, abandoned, marginalized and at risk.
The primary purpose of the foundation was to offer these poor children and youth the possibility of inserting themselves within the society with adequate moral, intellectual and professional formation. In order to ensure the continuity of their apostolic works through evangelization, education and human promotion, the Founder also put emphasis on the ongoing and professional preparation of the Sisters.
The International Mission
Participating in the work of salvation, the Baptistine Sisters continue to move in time with the Holy Spirit to respond in a contemporary context to the challenges and needs that inspired their Founder, and to remain open and alert in reading the “signs of the times.”
The Baptistine Sisters involve themselves in apostolic works which are in line with their charism and directly address the particular needs of the local people. They serve as religious educators and workers, school administrators and teachers, guidance counselors, pastoral and social workers, health practitioners and caregivers, spiritual directors and retreat facilitators. These services are carried out through their schools, children’s homes and day care centers, rehabilitation centers for children and youth, manpower training center for youth and women, hospitals, nursing homes, and retreat houses; also, through the ministries of the local dioceses and parishes.
At the beginning of this third millennium, the Baptistine Sisters are practically spread throughout the world serving seventeen countries, namely, Italy, United States of America, Brazil, Chile, Zambia, Canada, India, the Philippines, Poland, Korea, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa, Madagascar, Moldova, Malawi, and Cameroon.
Spirituality and Mission
The spirituality and mission of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. John the Baptist stems from the original inspiration of the Founder, St. Alfonso Ma. Fusco, to follow in the footsteps of Jesus the Nazarene, dedicating himself totally to the evangelization of the people of Angri and caring for the needs of children. Especially the poor, abandoned, marginalized and at risk.
The spirituality of the Baptistine Sisters flows from the contemplation of Jesus the Nazarene, as He carried out his mission in the streets of Palestine, intent on fulfilling his Father’s project, doing good to everyone, bringing a human touch to people’s relationships and building the Kingdom of God.
There are two spiritual aspects of the life of the Baptistine Sisters, which go right to the very root of their consecrated life and inspire all their actions: “Being spouses of Jesus the Nazarene” and “Trusting in Divine Providence.”
The mission of the Baptistine Sisters took its inspiration from the life of Jesus, the Nazarene, but it is also linked to St. John the Baptist, protector of the Institute. He guides the Sisters in their commitment to holiness and inspires them in their mission to “Prepare the way of the Lord” as they lead young people towards real Christian values and promote their human dignity by facilitating their entry to civil society through a trade or profession.