7 October 1950

Mother Teresa sets up the Missionaries of Charity.


Missionaries of Charity is a Roman Catholic Latin Rite religious congregation established in 1950 by Mother Teresa. It consists of over 4,501 religious sisters and is active in 133 countries. Members of the order designate their affiliation using the order’s initials, “M.C.” A member of the Congregation must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty, obedience, and the fourth vow, to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.”

Today, the order consists of both Contemplative and Active Branches of Brothers and Sisters over several different countries. In 1963, both the Contemplative branch of the Sisters and the Active branch of the Brothers were founded, Brothers being co-founded by then Australian Jesuit (who became Brother Andrew, M.C.) Fr Ian Travers-Ball S.J. In 1979 the Contemplative branch of the Brothers was added and in 1984 a priest branch, the Missionaries of Charity Fathers, was founded by Mother Teresa with Fr. Joseph Langford, combining the vocation of the Missionaries of Charity with the Ministerial Priesthood. As with the Sisters, the Fathers live a very simple lifestyle without television, radios or items of convenience. They neither smoke nor drink alcohol and beg for their food. They make a visit to their families every five years but do not take annual holidays. Lay Catholics and non-Catholics constitute the Co-Workers of Mother Teresa, the Sick and Suffering Co-Workers, and the Lay Missionaries of Charity.