The Sisters of Life celebrated the 25th anniversary of their founding on June 1 with a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Patrick’s Cathedral followed by a block party on 51st Street. Over 1,000 people, including laypeople, priests, and other religious men and women, gathered for the community’s joyous jubilee.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan celebrated the Mass and delivered the homily, summarizing the history of the order. The Sisters of Life were founded by John Cardinal O’Connor on June 1, 1991, when eight women, including current Superior General Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, entered the community dedicated to the charism of life.
Cardinal Dolan said that, 25 years ago, the first eight members of the Sisters of Life had to have great trust in God that forming the community was his will. The Sisters, their friends and benefactors all continue to have that trust today for the continued success of the Sisters of Life.
“We have so much trust that I’d like to invite you to the 50th anniversary celebration of the Sisters of Life on June 1, 2041,” joked the cardinal.
After Mass, the crowd burst out the doors onto the streets of New York, headed to 51st Street for the block party.
A live band, colorful banner-like fabrics draped across the street, and the Sisters’ navy-blue-and-white habits, conspicuous in the metropolitan scene, drew many curious passerby to the celebration. Outside, Sisters of Life offered food, face painting, and games, while confessions and Eucharistic adoration were available at the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the block.
People of all ages, from weeks-old babies to nonagenarians, joined in the commemorative festivities. Among those gathered were a small delegation from the Diocese of Bridgeport and Sisters of Life postulant Lauren Janik of Stamford.
Over 25 years, the Sisters of Life have grown from eight members to nearly 100. Since opening their first convent in 1994, they have expanded to locations in New York, NY; Suffern, NY; Washington, DC; Denver, Colo. and Toronto, Canada. They also operate the Villa Maria Guadalupe retreat house in Stamford, Conn. To learn more about the Sisters of Life, visit www.sistersoflife.org.