VHRN Press Release: Sr. Betty Ann McNeil, D.C., appointed Vincentian Scholar-in-Residence, DePaul University

DePaul University Appoints Sister Betty Ann McNeil, D.C., Vincentian Scholar-in-Residence

Sister Betty Ann McNeil, D.C., will join DePaul University as its second Vincentian Scholar- in- Residence in the school’s Office of Mission and Values. The Vincentian Scholar-in-Residence program seeks to support the research of notable Vincentian Scholars in support of DePaul University’s identity as the premiere international resource for Vincentian Studies.

Sister McNeil entered the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, Emmitsburg Province, in 1964 and earned a bachelor’s degree in social welfare from Saint Joseph College, Emmitsburg, Maryland in 1969 and a master of social work from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1975.

A leading expert on the history of Vincentian tradition especially Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and the early history of the Sisters of Charity in the United States, Sister McNeil has been a member of the Vincentian Studies Institute since 1988 and currently serves on its editorial board. Her publications include “The Vincentian Family Tree,” a survey of all communities related to Saint Vincent de Paul, Saint Louise de Marillac and the Vincentian Family, published by the Vincentian Studies Institute in 1996.

She also has written or edited numerous volumes on Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, as well as histories of the Daughters of Charity in the United States including their service as nurses in the Civil War. She has given numerous presentations nationally and internationally on these same topics. Sister McNeil is currently archivist on the Emmitsburg campus of the Daughters of Charity, Province of Saint Louise. She is DePaul’s second Vincentian Scholar in Residence, joining the Rev. John Rybolt, C.M.

“We look forward to supporting the Vincentian research and publication agenda of Sister McNeil, and we look forward to her contributions to mission and heritage enhancement programs at DePaul University” said the Rev. Edward R. Udovic, C.M., senior executive for University Mission at DePaul.

Founded in 1979 and sponsored by DePaul since 2007, the Vincentian Studies Institute is the premiere international organization promoting a living interest in the history and spirituality of the Vincentian family founded by Saint Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) and Saint Louise de Marillac (1591-1660). The institute supports a wide variety of research, publication, and continuing education efforts particularly making use of the latest technology advances provided by the World Wide Web.

Saint Vincent de Paul was a 17th Century French priest who was known as the “Apostle of Charity” for his commitment to the poor and marginalized. His community service and advocacy of respect for the individual were the hallmarks of his philosophy and ministry. He worked closely with Saint Louise de Marillac, to found the Daughters of Charity in 1633, to minister to the spiritual and material needs of poor persons. In 1625 he founded the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians) who are the sponsors of DePaul University.