The current Constitutions, approved in 1984, are grown from our lives, because they are the result of long, common efforts on the part of all Sisters of our Congregation. In accordance with the charge given by the Church, they are inspired by the spirit of the Second Vatican Council.
Due to the profound and rapid changes in our world, we felt called for a profound renewal, like many other apostolic congregations. Therefore we reflected upon our special charism as Sisters of Divine Providence and looked for ways and forms of expression as to how we could, in a concrete way, answer the challenges of our time in Church and the world.
In our attempts to understand our charism more clearly, we experienced that, what unites all Sisters of Divine Providence from the very start of our Congregation up to the present time, is our apostolic spirit of faith in Divine Providence, our vocation to follow Jesus Christ and our openness to the working of the Holy Spirit. It has been granted to us to experience that our charism is still alive and that it will also in future enable us to give an answer to the concrete needs of the times. At the same time, however, we became aware of how much our charism demands from us, especially at the present time.
After 30 years, we feel the need to update our Constitutions, especially in terms of new forms of organization and structure, and editorial/linguistic adjustments. An International Commission with a representative from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe coordinates this updating process, involving all sisters of our international congregation.
The Original Rule
The Sisters of Providence should avoid in their religious exercises all extraordinary and conspicuous things and not force their servants into anything unusual. In their outer appearance they should be naturally, simple and modest, but serene and joyful, and as the most important religious exercise they should try to work for God’s honour and the welfare of their fellow human beings. They should beware of a sad, weakly and too pious character and should put their zeal on a serene, open and joyful mind and unbiased manners.
Taken from: Rules of the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence in the orphanage at St. Mauritz near Münster confirmed on November 29th, 1844 by Bishop Caspar Maximilian, Bishop of Münster