I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with the Sisters of Life at their Visitation Mission in Philadelphia. The Sisters came to the City of Brotherly Love some time ago at the invitation of Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput.
Joy radiates from the Sisters as they welcome visitors to their wreath-covered, robin egg blue doors. Sister Grace Dominic says pregnant women learn about them mostly through word of mouth. The women come from various backgrounds and represent a number of different religions. All are greeted with the same heart-felt love.
The pregnant women who come to their doors also have a variety of needs. They may require shelter, food, or the steadfast support of one person who will love both them and their babies.
As the website for the Sisters of Life states, “The Sisters and Co-workers of the Visitation Mission are eager to listen to you, your hopes and your struggles. We can help find real possibilities during a difficult time. We want to walk with you and see you thrive.”
The Sisters were the brainchild of a former Archbishop of New York, who wanted to unleash the feminine genius for the cause of life. As the website records, “The Sisters of Life is a contemplative/active religious community of women founded in 1991 by John Cardinal O’Connor for the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of every human life.”
Just sitting with the Sisters, having a cup of tea, one can feel the warmth they bring to their life-saving, life-changing work. They are models of kindness and compassion to women struggling in the midst of challenging circumstances.
To each woman they encounter they bring a message of hope and healing–something sorely needed in the abortion capital of Pennsylvania.
With abortions declining in Philadelphia County, I have to believe that the Sisters are making a real difference in this mission territory. May they continue to encourage the women of Philadelphia for decades to come.