About the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother

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"May the poor always enjoy the friendship of the sisters."
--Mother Frances Streitel, Foundress

The Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother share hope through teaching, helping and healing. We are skilled teachers, compassionate caregivers, attentive counselors, caring friends and gentle companions to those in need–the sick, the poor, the young, the old and those in crisis.
Inspired by our Foundress Mother Frances Streitel, we live simply, give generously, and have a deep respect and loving concern for all creation. Through prayer and work, we bring fuller life to others.
Thanks to the kindness and self-sacrifice of Mother Frances and the numerous Sisters who have followed in her footsteps, many people have had the opportunity to have a better life, and to live in accordance with the Word of God.
Our Sisters can be found in the United States, the Caribbean islands of Grenada, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Dominican Republic, Germany, Italy, Austria, Brazil and Tanzania. We evangelize through education, health care and pastoral activities, announcing that God is the Lord of the living. Through a life devoted to apostolic ministry and supported by a contemplative spirit, we care for the needy, especially the poor. With all our limitations, we seek God above all things.
We are women of vision – to follow
We are women of passion – to love
We are women of mission – to serve in the name of Jesus


Mother Frances Streitel founded the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother in 1883 – Learn more about her at motherfrancesstreitel.org

Learn about the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother in our “Yesterday and Today” video above

The SSM Charism:
Through a dedicated life of apostolic service,
vitalized by a contemplative spirit,
we care for those in need, especially the poor,

and in our own poverty, seek the Lord above all.

Learn about the SSM Charism by watching the video above

Meaning of the Congregational Logo

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~ Circle drawing/spiral: Breath of God’s Spirit (Ruah) surrounding everything in its action of Creating and Redeeming, as an inexhaustible source of new life.


~ Crucifix and Tau: The suffering world, redeemed by Christ and healed by the life-giving grace of the Spirit of the Risen Christ.


~ Standing Near the Cross, “humble discipleship” Mary, Mother of God and the Church, deeply involved in the plan of salvation.




The St. Clare of Assisi Region of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother has ministries across Wisconsin; in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Denville, New Jersey; and the Dominican Republic. Internationally we have locations in Germany, Italy, Austria, Brazil, Tanzania, and the Caribbean islands of Grenada, St. Lucia, Trinidad/Tobago.

Learn more about the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother on our Web sites:

International SSM: www.ssmgen.org
Vocations: www.becomingasister.org
Our Foundress: www.motherfrancesstreitel.org
The Franciscan Institute: www.franinstitute.org
Region Austria: www.ssm-austria.at
Region Italy: www.ssmitalia.it
Region Germany: www.kloster-abenberg.de