From the birth of our Foundress in Ramygala, Lithuania, through to the present day, we honor and maintain our ties to Lithuania, and to the Lithuanian Sisters of St. Casimir whose center is Pazaislis.
SSC Foundress Venerable Maria Kaupas born in Lithuania
Venerable Mother Maria Kaupas, Foundress of the Sisters of St. Casimir, was born in Ramygala, Lithuania in 1880 and came to the U.S. at the request of her brother priest to serve as his housekeeper. Here she saw Sisters for the first time and was inspired to found a congregation that would sustain and nourish the faith life of the early Lithuanian immigrants in the U.S.
Ministering to Lithuanian immigrant communities
In 1911, the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Casimir was established in Chicago, IL where there was a large population of Lithuanians. From the Motherhouse, Sisters were sent to other Lithuanian communities, from the small mining towns of Pennsylvania to the farmlands of Nebraska and Iowa, to the growing parishes in the big cities of Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Cleveland. Throughout their 103 year history, the Sisters ministered in over 60 parishes, secondary schools, hospitals and retirement homes across the United States and in Argentina.
Sisters of St. Casimir support the Sisters in Lithuania
Mother Maria established the Sisters of St. Casimir of Lithuania in 1920, and the Sisters in Lithuania and the congregation in the U.S. have retained strong ties. When Lithuania regained its independence in 1991, the Sisters of St. Casimir were quick to respond to the spiritual and material needs of women religious in Lithuania as they emerged into a whole new way of life and ministry. Numerous trips were made to Lithuania to give workshops, updates, and mentoring. The Sisters of St. Casimir in the U.S. obtained grants and established a “Pazaislis Fund” to help the Sisters of St. Casimir in Lithuania restore their beautiful historic convent site and to create a center for spiritual renewal.
The SSCs brought several Lithuanian Sisters to the U.S. for educational purposes. The Sisters of St. Casimir of Chicago also served in other ways: as part of the APPLE program, giving a year of service teaching in a Catholic high school in Lithuania; as part of a special four week program sponsored by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in which workshops were open to all religious communities in Lithuania on formation, spirituality, and human development; and as presenters of new methods in religious education and in the preservation of archival materials.
Continuing the mission
The Sisters of St. Casimir remain faithful to the vision of Venerable Mother Maria whose deep faith in God’s presence inspired her to respond with generosity and love to the needs of her time. Today the Sisters of St. Casimir continue their mission to nourish and sustain the life of faith in the fields of education and health care, as well as in areas of social justice and caring for those whom God has placed in their path.