United States of America
Our Founder, Saint Guanella, provided the first presence for the Congregation when he visited the United States in 1913 and later established a “house” in Chicago in 1915 for the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence. Since that time, the Servants of Charity have established themselves in three different states.
- St. Louis Center
In 1959 the Archbishop of Detroit purchased a 180-acre parcel of vacant farmland west of Chelsea, MI to build a school for “special boys”. The Servants of Charity were asked to operate what would later become “The St. Louis School for Boys”. With the assistance of the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence, the Servants of Charity provided their special brand of Guanellian care to exceptional boys until the mid-1970’s when “mainstreaming” was mandated in the public schools of Michigan. Now serving persons with disabilities into the 21st Century, St. Louis Center operates as a residential care center for young boys, as well as adult men and women.
- Pious Union of St. Joseph
The Pious Union of St. Joseph for the suffering and dying is an association of the faithful, founded by Saint Guanella with the support of Pope St. Pius X in 1913. In 1986, the Servants of Charity purchased 30 acres of property in Grass Lake, MI, and a year later, Fr. Germano Pegoraro was transferred to Michigan, and petitioned the late Bishop Kenneth Povish of the Diocese of Lansing to open a branch of the Pious Union in the United States. After several stops and starts, Fr. Pegoraro was permanently assigned to a small house in Grass Lake, where he led the efforts to create a beautiful shrine dedicated to St. Joseph. Following the November 1995 groundbreaking, the Chapel was completed and dedicated to the public on June 18, 2000. Fr. Pegoraro passed away on December 12, 2007. In 2005 and 2007, a Lourdes Grotto and a Mt. Calvary plaza have been added to the Pious Union site. St. Joseph is the patron saint of the suffering and dying of the world. Silent Clubbing with Jesus
- C.K. Center
The C.K. Center, located in Springfield, PA, is a modern residential facility for low functioning young adults with developmental disabilities. Dedicated in 1977 it is air conditioned and meets federal and state requirements for the safety, privacy, dignity, and comfort of those in our care. It provides persons with disabilities with programs such as: Work Activity Center for men and women, Vocational Therapy, Continuing Education, Arts and Crafts, Daily Living Care, Counseling, Sports, Recreation, and Social Activities. A well planned religious program teaches them to be happy and proud of their human dignity and to be the children of God.
- Don Guanella School
The school was opened in 1960 by the Servants of Charity, in Springfield, PA. It is a residential facility for exceptional children. Four cottages provide residents with family living experiences.
- Don Guanella Formation House
The Don Guanella Formation House was built in 1978 for young men who felt a calling from God to become a priest or brother in the religious order of the Servants of Charity. It is the center of Guanellian spirituality. The priests and brothers live together in community and learn from each other how to love God and the special people entrusted to their care. Preparing and transforming a man to become a good Guanellian is not an easy task. It requires many hours of training, learning how to care for the handicapped and changing personal attitudes into Christ’s attitudes. There is a great deal of self denial to renounce one’s own interest for others—enormous patience. The secret of all this is based on the love of God and we transmit this love to our brothers. In them they see the suffering Christ who loved each one of us and said to love each other as He did in suffering and dying on the Cross for our salvation.
- Sacred Heart Parish
Sacred Heart Parish is an inner city parish, small in size but great in heart, serving a community of blue collar people of various ethnic nationalities, mostly Portuguese immigrants. The spirit follows the Guanellian goal of giving “Bread and the Lord” through pastoral spiritual care, education of our children in our Sacred Heart Parochial school, day care for children, after school programs, and outreach to the needy of our parish and the community at large. A Senior Center has been established. As the mural in our church portrays, it is our goal to bring the Sacred Heart of Jesus to all who are weary and burdened, to receive from Him rest and grace.