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Sisters of Social Service

Archive-It Partner Since: Jul, 2021

Organization Type: Other Institutions

Organization URL:   


We trace out roots back to 1908 in Hungary where our founding members were inspired by the Church’s first great encyclical on social justice, Rerum Novarum (On the Condition of Labor). Sister Margaret Slachta was a pioneer in the field of social work. In 1920 she was elected the first woman member of the Hungarian Parliament, where she actively promoted workers’ rights, stressing the well-being of women, children and families.

In 1923 she formally founded the Sisters of Social Service (SSS) and adopted the social mission of the Church as the motivating thrust of their lives. They embraced Benedictine spirituality and had a special devotion to the Holy Spirit. After spiritual formation and professional training, they dedicated themselves to responding to the needs of those who were socially, economically and politically powerless. They believed that they should not only work to heal the wounds of society, but should spend their lives trying to change the conditions that caused the wounds.

During the 1920’s the SSS spread from Hungary to neighboring Romania and Slovakia, as well as to Canada and the United States. It was from the Buffalo foundation that Sister Frederica Horvath came to Los Angeles, California in 1926 and planted the spirit and mission of the Sisters of Service that we live today.

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