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any of numerous Roman Catholic congregations of noncloistered women who are engaged in a wide variety of active works, especially teaching and nursing. Many of these congregations follow a rule of life based upon that of St. Vincent de Paul for the Daughters of Charity (q.v.), but modified according to the specific constitutions of the institute. Several congregations of Sisters of Charity in the United States and Canada are branches of the community founded at Emmitsburg, Md., in 1809 by Mother Elizabeth Bayley Seton, the first native-born American canonized as a saint.