The Little Sisters of the Assumption came to Worcester in 1955 to work with families and their children. The essential Mission of the Sisters is to provide health care and support to disadvantaged families and to revitalize the spirit of those degraded by poverty. In 1968, the Sisters incorporated under the title Pernet [per-nay’] Family Health Service, named after the order’s founder. The agency became a home health agency certified by the Department of Public Health and is currently a major provider of home health care and early intervention services to families in the Worcester area.
The Little Sisters of the Assumption began as a community of religious women. Responding to social needs in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, Antoinette Fage and Father Etienne Pernet founded the congregation in Paris, in 1865. In 1891, Little Sisters of the Assumption came to the United States to improve the lives of the poor with their social and spiritual services. Today, they extended their services from New York City’s distressed neighborhoods to Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Nationally respected in the field of community development, Little Sisters collaborate with public, governmental, and other non-profit organizations to improve the physical, social, and spiritual health of needy children and impoverished families.
The founders, mission to unite hearts in a spirit of family remains unchanged. This mission resonates with documents such as the United Nations Charter on Human Rights. Viewing society as one large family, Little Sisters promote social justice and human rights to all people, gradually improving society – one person, one family, one community at a time.
In 2023, Pernet merged with Webster Square Day Care Center and Webster Square Day Care Center program of Pernet. The day care was founded in 1968 and has grown to include both a center-based and a family day care component. Read more about this program, and our other programs, under our Programs tab.
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