Historical background of the Congregation
Fr. Peter Joseph Triest (the founder), enters human history at a time when his country, Belgium was plagued by wars, famine, diseases, poverty, illiteracy and oppression of the poor. The life of the people was marked by moral degradation, decline of religious values, and by and large, they had abandoned religious practices. Some of the victims of such a demoralized time were the children, the orphans and the foundlings, the unwed mothers, the widows, the mentally ill, the sick poor, the aged, the blind, the deaf and similar other groups who were disabled in one way or the other.
Fr. Triest, who was rooted in God, expressed his faith in action. He felt called and convinced of his call to be at the service of the poor, to alleviate their sufferings and restore their dignity as persons and children of God. With the help of three simple and almost illiterate young women, he began the work of restoration in 1803, which laid the foundation for the new Congregation: Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary.