About The Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother

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, who founded our Congregation in Rome in 1883, 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.

Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother Overview Timeline Brochure





Learn more about the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother and our 125+-year tradition of bringing fuller life to others on our Web sites:

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

We are:
A community of women religious who desire to live
the Gospel
Professed followers of St. Francis and St. Clare
Ordinary women who do extraordinary things
A multicultural community enriched by great diversity

We seek:
To care for those in need, especially the poor
To reflect and be contemplative
To pray for the needs of others
To bring about fuller life for others through our ministry
To invite others to join us in our mission

We can be found:
In the East, Midwest and Southwest United States
In the Caribbean – Trinidad, Grenada, St. Lucia and
the Dominican Republic
In Europe: Italy, Germany and Austria
In Africa – Tanzania
In South America – Brazil

We collborate with others to help others:
Through education and health care for all ages
Through feeding the hungry
Through family education of parents and children
Through spiritual assistance and pastoral care
Through prayer groups and retreats
Through ecology and care of the earth
Through promoting just and peaceful structures

We share with others:
Our vision and our mission
Our values and our way of life
Our human and material resources
Our services and our prayer
Our hopes and hospitality
Our challenges and our struggles
Our faith and our joy

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.
Watch the SSM Charism Video on YouTube HERE

Meaning of the Congregational Logo

logo 3
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.