The Vocationist Emblem

                                    Society of Divine Vocations                                                      Ven. Fr. Justin M. Russolillo, SDV





Fr. Justin

 the founder

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Last update on Thursday January 1, 2009




The Sisters of the Society of the Divine Vocations more commonly referred to as The Vocationist Sisters, is a Congregation of Catholic Sisters founded by Fr. Justin Russolillo in the year 1921.

Vocationist Sisters (155k)

 The Vocationist Sisters presently serve God’s people in Italy, France, Brazil, Argentina, United States, the Philippines, India, Nigeria, Indonesia.


Their field of work is apostolate in the parishes, schools and missions aimed at identifying and guiding young people who seem to show signs of divine call to consecrated life. 

The Vocationist Sisters take the simple vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. They believe in and practice a strong and steady community life and wear a religious habit.

The Vocationist Sisters live in communities and their house of formation in the USA is located at 88 Brooklake Road, Florham Park, NJ 07932


The Formation House is a Religious House where the candidates who would like to become religious sisters are guided and encouraged in a spirit of prayer, free of charge. There, the candidates study, pray and discern first of all the authenticity of their calling, under theHouse of Formation (194k) guidance of the Vocationist Sisters, and as they progress in their spiritual life they absorb the basic principles of religious life and learn the beauty of a consecrated life spent for God and His people.

In all the activities, a Vocationist Sister, following the Venerable Fr. Justin’s advice to those who wish to assure success to their apostolic endeavors, urges everyone to receive frequently the Sacraments of Penance and of the Holy Eucharist. She is aware that only through the Sacraments, hearts are renewed and human minds are opened to God’s will.

Mother Maria Giovanna Russolillo

the co-founder

         Born in Pianura (Naples) on June 22, 1895, the Rev. Mother Maria Giovanna Russolillo was the fifth of 10 children makes up the numerous family of the husband and wife, Luigi Russolillo and Giuseppina Simpatia.

         Baptized two days after her birth, flourish under the loving and vigil watch of her parents. In six years she made her first Communion, and when seven receive the sacrament of Confirmation.

          From six to 12 years, Giovanna frequently went to elementary classes that existed in Pianura, alternating, the study, with the humble service of doing domestic housework. Therefore she was always near to her brother Giustino in every apostolate initiative.

           Simply not having still clear the sight of the future vocation to the religious state, it is given back as a docile instrument of the follower of the divine Will, with the youthful enthusiasm, to all the pious initiatives of her brother – much later parish priest of Pianura – given a hand in developing the parish. It flourishes already in this parish, around little Rachele Marrone, a crowd of youth aspiring to the religious life.  Together with these - and to other youth that they are indebted to, with them, the first sisters of the future Congregation – Giovanna with share with her brother Justin, the work of the apostolate, renouncing and sacrificing themselves to support the priestly vocations – the first gems of the demanded risings of the masculine work.

            In 1922, Giovanna felt called to the Religious life and so courageously returned to school in order to continue her studies. Even though she was must older than her schoolmates did not deter her from her goal.

            In 1924, after the idea of founding a new Congregation had already matured in Father Justin’s mind, Giovanna decided to follow her vocation and help materialize her brother’s dream. Thus, she together with the other aspirants who were cultivating religious ideals under the leadership of Rachele Marrone started taking courses in pre-school education. These additional studies were aimed at preparing them to better serve the vocation work that Father Justin had designed.

             Meanwhile, His Excellency Pasquale Ragosta, Bishop of Ischia, and Apostolic Administrator of Pozzuoli now permitted the aspirants of Rachele Marrone’s group, who first established themselves as a Pious Union with the permission of His Excellency Bishop Zezza, to start Common Life. At that time all of the Candidates began wearing a sort of religious habit, which was distinguished from other religious groups by a liturgical ribbon worn around the neck. 

            In May of 1927, the original ‘Pious Union’ was canonically approved as a Congregation of Diocesan Right, and, on August 12th of that same year the few members of the newly born Congregation elected Sister Giovanna as their Superior General.

             The unanimity with which Sister Giovanna was elected was a living witness of the esteem and love that everyone had for the Founder’s sister as well as an acknowledgement of her leadership qualities and of her capability to direct the congregation.

            This same day everyone took their first vows in the hands of Father Justin; Sister Giovanna became Mother Giovanna of the Blessed Trinity.






Last update on Thursday January 1, 2009                          E-mail your comment to the webmaster



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