Photo Gallery: Eschewing a splashy event, the sisters chose to be “on the street, out with the people”, offering both sacraments and snacks
Under the soaring roof of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, Cardinal Timothy Dolan praised the “fresh and young religious institute” of the Sisters of Life in a Mass of Thanksgiving for the order’s 25th anniversary on June 1. And the cardinal also passed on a message from the Dominicans, who just celebrated their 800th anniversary: “Tell those kids congratulations!”
In his homily, Cardinal Dolan described the Sisters of Life as a “breath of hope” for consecrated religious life. “A quarter century ago, we worried – we worried that consecrated religious life was in trouble,” mused the Cardinal. But flourishing new orders like the Sisters of Life are “a booster shot for all of us,” he said.
Since their founding by Cardinal John O’Connor in 1991, the Sisters of Life have grown from eight members to nearly a hundred. In addition to numerous convents and retreat centers in the greater New York area, the Sisters have also expanded to other locations in the western United States and abroad to Canada.
Going above and beyond the three traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the Sisters of Life take a fourth vow: to protect and embrace the sacredness of human life. The sisters assist women in crisis pregnancies by inviting them to live with the community in their convents, and they also provide healing retreats for those suffering from post-abortion grief. In the past 25 years, they have witnessed many “miracles of courage and love, miracles of healing,” said Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, the superior general of the order, in her remarks at the end of the anniversary Mass.