Sisters of Life mark 100th birthday of founder, Cardinal O’Connor

Catholic News Agency | 1/15/2020 | Staff
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New York City, N.Y., Jan 15, 2020 / 02:56 am (CNA).- The Sisters of Life will celebrate the 100th birthday of their late founder, Cardinal John O’Connor, on Jan. 15 with an evening of prayer, reflection and thanksgiving in several major cities.

“We will gather—in New York, Philadelphia, and Toronto—to celebrate his life in prayer and thanksgiving,” Sister Maris Stella told CNA Jan. 14. “It’s a moment for us to thank God for the gift of Cardinal O’Connor’s life. We are grateful that God chose Cardinal O’Connor to found our community. We are grateful that he responded to God’s grace and for the sacrifices he made to make our vocations possible.

Bishops - Cathedrals - Sisters - Life - Sister

“He would say ‘some bishops build cathedrals; the Sisters of Life are my cathedral’,” said Sister Maris Stella, who entered the Sisters of Life in 2006. She is now based in Denver, where the sisters work in college outreach.

O’Connor was Archbishop of New York from 1984 until his death on May 3, 2000. He was a major figure of American Catholicism and an outspoken advocate for the unborn and for other pro-life issues. In 1991 he founded the Sisters of Life, a contemplative, active Catholic community of women who profess vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, plus a fourth vow to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life.

Sisters - Mission - Service - Women - Abortion

The sisters’ mission involves service to women who are vulnerable to abortion. This includes giving them the support and resources they need to choose life, their website says. They also aim to help women who suffer after abortion to find God’s mercy and healing, and they host weekend retreats and engage in evangelization.

For Sister Maris Stella, Cardinal O’Connor was “a great patriarch and prophet of the pro-life movement.”

Sisters - Life - Origin - O'Connor - Visit

She credited the Sisters of Life’s origin to O’Connor’s 1975 visit to Dachau, the site of...
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