The Congregation of the Religious Sisters of Charity is formally constituted as an institute, whose values and ways of proceeding are expressed in its Constitutions, which are based on those of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
The congregation consists of three regions and two provinces world wide, which in turn consist of small and larger communities of sisters living and working together. The generalate is based in Dublin in Ireland, which was the native country of the foundress, Mary Aikenhead.
The whole congregation is governed by a congregational leader, assisted by a group of sisters known as the general leadership team or the general council.
The congregational leader and her team are elected at a general chapter of the congregation, and the congregational leader in turn, with her council and in consultation with the sisters in each area, appoints each provincial/regional leader and her team.
Within each region or province, the sisters live in local communities, to each of which a local community leader is appointed.
The General Chapter of the Congregation
The general chapter is a major congregational meeting that is normally held every six years, primarily in order to elect the congregational leader and her council, and also to deal with the affairs of the congregation.
In order to prepare for the six-yearly general chapter, the leader of each province or region convokes a major meeting of sisters from that province/region, known as a provincial or regional chapter. The provincial/regional chapter elects delegates to attend the general chapter.