Falling under the charism imparted to Father Giussani is also the religious Institute of the Sisters of Charity of the Assumption, established in 1993 by Pontifical Decree as an autonomous Institute, separate from that of the Little Sisters of the Assumption, which many young women from CL had entered from the 1960s onwards. Father Giussani had in fact been deeply impressed by the simplicity and charity with which these nuns lived, and had recognized an accord with his own way of understanding and living the Christian life; thus, he directed toward this experience the vocations arising within the Movement that were most sensitive to the aspect of charity.
Events within the Church after Vatican II led to a progressive differentiation, culminating in the birth of a new religious family, which finds in Father Giussani the guide for living today the charism of its founder, Father Stefano Pernet, who lived in France in the nineteenth century. Struck by the material and moral misery in which workers’ families lived and by their distance from the Church, Father Pernet created a work in which women who were living a total devotion to Christ in the religious life placed themselves at the service of families, sharing their concrete need by caring for the sick and helping in the home, witnessing in this way to the love of Christ present in the Church and reawakening faith by means of charity. This was from its beginnings an apostolic work, aimed, as its founder said, at “remaking a people for God.”
The Sisters of Charity of the Assumption continue today the same mission, taking into account the changes in society that often make it necessary for them to work within the network of services set up by local administrations, but without losing their own identity. Their work is aimed at the family, through helping in the home, caring for the sick, for children in difficulty, the elderly, always with full respect for the dignity of the person, who is worthy of respect for the sole fact that he or she exists. The result is a fascinating adventure in sharing, in which man is given value because he was wanted and loved by Christ, and his history has a meaning because it has a destiny of hope.
The Institute is today made up of more than one hundred Sisters. The itinerary of their formation, while faithful to the characteristics of the religious life in the Church, follows closely in method and contents that of Memores Domini, recognizing in it the unparalleled richness that Father Giussani’s charism offers for articulation of the experience of virginity. The Sisters are present in Italy in Milan, Turin, Trieste, Rome, and Naples, and in Spain in Madrid. The General Chapter of the Sisters of Charity of the Assumption, celebrated in November 2005, appointed Father Giussani founder of the Institute together with Father Pernet. The Holy See has approved and confirmed this decision.