Saint Bruno's Catholic Church
555 West San Bruno Ave., San Bruno, CA 94066
Tel: (650) 588-2121 - FAX: (650) 588-6087

Young Ladies Institute (YLI)

Young Ladies' institute, a Catholic Women's organization was founded in San Francisco, California, on September 5, 1887, by three ladies - Emily Coogan, Mary Richardson and Annie Sweeney. They realized there was a need for an organization to help young women alone in the city who might be victims of health and/or sisterly love, unity and protection.

YLI flourished mainly in the greater San Francisco area. It gradually spread to the entire West Coast. There are presently 115 institutes in three Pacific Coast states and Hawaii. YLI has been part of the National Council of Catholic Women since its founding in 1920.

A scholarship program was established in 1925. There are two scholarships at junior college level in the Health Sciences; two scholarships at the senior college level in Health Sciences, Liberal Arts and a fellowship for graduate study beyond B.A. or B.S. degrees.

YLI became involved in social justice issues in 1909. We campaigned for an eight hour working day for women and also for Child Labor Laws. The original purpose of helping women in need has continued. YLI members were generous in relief efforts toward sister members after the San Francisco earthquakes of 1906 and 1989. The war years found members working with War Bonds, Red Cross donor drives and as USO hostesses. Some enlisted in the various branches of the Armed Services. Works of charity have been worldwide. Each year the Grand President designates a particular charity for all members to work for and with.

In 1937, our 50th anniversary, YLI established the Golden Jubilee Burse to assist in the education of students for the priesthood. Since then over one million dollars has been raised and given to the Archbishops were there are YLI Institutes. For our diamond jubilee, YLI  provided funds for the altar railing in the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. In 1987, the centennial of YLI, a bronze sculpture of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was placed in St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco.

YLI has continued to flourish because the founders, and those who followed in service of Grand Institutes, knew we have an important duty to serve our church, country, community and one another. Their foresightedness, determination and love of the Order are an example for all.