Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska, Foundress

In 1825, Angela Truszkowska, foundress of the Felician Sisters, was born Sophia Camille in Kalisz, Poland, of well-educated and devout parents. Sophia was independent, intelligent, and deeply religious. Even as a youth she had profound awareness of the economic and social inequities of her time. Her father, a judge in the juvenile courts, helped to shape her sense of justice.

By 1854, she had a crystallized vision of her mission. She joined the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Warsaw, visiting the sick and destitute in their homes and supplying the needs of many of the city’s children who were homeless. By 1855 she moved in with her charges: the orphaned children and the aged women  in her care.  On November 21, 1855, considered the founding day of the congregation, Sophia and her cousin, Clothilde, consecrated themselves to the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Third Order Franciscans. Sophia was given the name Angela.

This was the beginning of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice, Third Order of St. Francis, more popularly known as the Felician Sisters. In the decades that followed the Felician Sisters observed the Gospel, generated needed social change, actively survived political suppression, and assumed a vital and lasting role in the mission of the Church.


On April 18, 1993, Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Mary Angela, saying, “Blessed Mary Angela’s life was marked with love. She was concerned about all people: those hungry for bread, the heartbroken, the homeless, and those hungering for the truth of the Gospel.”

Establishing Provinces in North America

In 1874, five sisters were missioned to Polonia, Wisconsin, to work among the Polish immigrants. By 1882, they expanded their missions to multiple states and established the first North American Provincial House in Detroit, Michigan. Eventually this grew to seven provinces in the United States and one in Ontario, Canada. In 2009, they merged to become Our Lady of Hope Province, headquartered in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

Picture of five Felician Pioneers sent to USA

View the videos below about the early days and expansion of the Felician Sisters in North America

Felician Sisters’ Mission Statement

The Mission of the Felician Sisters is to cooperate with Christ in the Spiritual Renewal of the World. In the Felician Sponsored Ministries

  • We are committed to better the human condition through our ministries.
  • We work to repair social conditions that hinder fullness of life for individuals and communities.
  • We respond to the needs of the whole person with special attention to those of the human spirit.

One Our Lady of Hope Province

In 2009, the Felician Sisters established one North American province, Our Lady of Hope, centered in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. The Our Lady of Hope Province serves as the sponsor of the Felician Sponsored Ministries. In June 2021, the Our Lady of Hope Province elected its newest administration.

Since their beginning in Poland, the Felician Sisters have responded wholeheartedly to Blessed Mary Angela’s directive, “…love everyone. Make no distinction, help them all without exception.” The Sisters established ministries in education, healthcare, and social services, and served in every role in those ministries from housekeepers to administrators. Today those works continue to be carried out by their lay partners in the Felician Sponsored Ministries. Together they are committed to discovering the unmet needs of the community, heeding Blessed Mary Angela’s call to “serve where you are needed.”

A History of Felician-Sponsored Ministries in North America

The Felician Sisters have provided service through their sponsored and co-sponsored ministries in both 10 States in the United States and in Ontario, Canada since 1874. Felician-Sponsored Ministries have a rich history of serving everyone from infants to people in the final stages of their lives.