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Why a Salesian Center?


For centuries, the Visitation Sisters have served as quiet examples of Salesian Spirituality as they taught, prayed, and led the school with faith, vision, and purpose. Salesian Spirituality was something that was felt. It was lived. It was passed down. Yet it was not clearly defined, studied, or celebrated. The St. Jane de Chantal Salesian Center aims to change that.


“When I entered Visitation many years ago, we did not name Salesian Spirituality. But we saw it lived by the Sisters: the kindness, the gentleness, the pleasant demeanor, optimism, all those kinds of things that are so positive.” 

-Sister Mary Berchmans Hannan ’48 & ’50


What is THE ST. JANE DE CHANTAL Salesian Center?

It’s a workshop. It’s a prayer. It’s a class. It’s a day of outreach. It’s reading, studying and contemplating over lunch, breakfast, or maybe even a morning stroll with friends. It’s exploring what bigger truths can be garnered from reading the words of St. Jane de Chantal and St. Francis de Sales. The St. Jane de Chantal Salesian Center helps the community know and understand our Salesian roots in a purposeful and clear way.  It will help today’s and tomorrow’s students build the solid faith foundation and enduring values they need to ground and inspire them in today’s rapidly changing and morally complex world.


“The vision for the St. Jane de Chantal Salesian Center is as simple as it is profound: to create a place to preserve the Sisters’ spiritual legacy. Now is the time for us to ensure that their legacy endures and flourishes (for generations to come).”

-Olivia Wills Kane ’85, Director St. Jane de Chantal Salesian Center


Olivia Wills Kane ’85, Director of the Center, is developing programs that inform the community, rooting it in a real working knowledge of Salesian Spirituality, what it is, and how to live it.  Susan Nalezyty, is the new School Archivist, working to catalog and digitize the school and Monastery’s vast array of historical materials, with the goal of making them accessible to a wider audience.


The St.  jane de Chantal Salesian Center Was Founded TO:


  • Create a diverse portfolio of Salesian faith formation programs to support the community’s understanding and embrace of Salesian Spirituality.;
  • Empower our young women to actively live their faith through service in the Church and greater community;
  • Preserve and organize the school’s rich archival collection of documents, photographs, and objects that celebrate our history and traditions; and
  • Develop diverse online platforms to share the inspired writings and teachings of St. Francis de Sales, St. Jane de Chantal, and the Sisters of the Visitation within and beyond our campus reach

“Since we  carry God in our hearts and God carries us, we automatically want to share that with all the people around us, all those generations.”

-Sr. Mada-anne Gell


What is Salesian Spirituality?


      • Salesian Spirituality is optimism. It’s gentleness. It’s strength. It’s blooming where you’re planted and living in the present moment. It’s ordinary acts done in an extraordinary way. It’s living in the presence of God in whatever you do, be it in prayer, in class, or in the workplace. These are some of the virtues that Salesian Spirituality celebrates.


    It is based on the writings and teachings of St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal, who founded the Visitation Order in 1610 in France, and it has been a way of life for countless Visitation Sisters both here in Georgetown and around the world. Often referred to as “inspired common sense,” Salesian Spirituality is remarkably relevant today, four centuries after its inception. It forms the core of the Visitation education and the Visitation spirit.


“It’s a good, wholesome way to live life, and that’s what our spirituality is all about.”-Sr. Mary Berchmans Hannan ’48 & ’50
To learn more about the important work and mission of the St. Jane de Chantal Salesian Center, contact Olivia Kane ‘85, Director St. Jane de Chantal Salesian Center or click here.