The Missionaries of Charity, is a Roman Catholic (Latin Church) religious congregation established October 7, 1950 by Saint Teresa of Calcutta, better known as Mother Teresa.
In 2012 it consisted of over 4,500 religious sisters. 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 in several countries.
Missionaries care for those who include refugees, former prostitutes, the mentally ill, sick children, abandoned children, lepers, people with AIDS, the aged, and convalescent. They have schools run by volunteers to educate street children and run soup kitchens as well as other services according to the community needs. They have 19 homes in Kolkata (Calcutta) alone which include homes for women, orphaned children, and homes for the dying, and for those dying of AIDS; a school for street children, and a leper colony. These services are provided, without charge, to people regardless of their religion or social status.