The Sisters of Life are a religious community of women founded in 1991 by Cardinal O’Connor of New York for the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of every human life. Like all religious communities, the Sisters of Life take the three traditional vows of poverty, chastity and obedience; And also are consecrated under a special, fourth vow to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life.

The Sisters of Life can trace their origin back to a profound moment when then Bishop-elect John O’Connor, during a visit to the Dachau Nazi Concentration Camp, placed his hands inside the red brick crematoria oven and “felt the intermingled ashes of Jew and Christian, rabbi, priest and minister.” Struck to the heart, he proclaimed, “Good God, how could human beings do this to other human beings?” In that instant, he received a life-transforming grace and vowed to do all he could, from that moment forward, to protect and enhance the sacredness of every human life, wherever it was most vulnerable.

Several years later, now Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York and the leading voice for life within the Church, he prayed to understand why the efforts of the pro-life cause were not gleaning the results expected. His eyes fell upon the passage from Scripture, “This kind of demon can only be cast out by prayer and fasting,” and another, life-transforming, grace was his. This time, though, the grace was not just a personal one, but one for the whole Church; it was the grace that gave birth to a new charism, a new religious community in the Church: the Sisters of Life.

After receiving hundreds of responses to his weekly newspaper column titled, “Help Wanted: Sisters of Life,” eight women entered the newly formed community on June 1, 1991.

The Sisters of Life celebrated the 25th Jubilee Year of their founding last year, and they have been an incredible gift to the Church and the world over the past, now nearly, 26 years.

The Sisters of Life currently serve nearly 1,000 vulnerable pregnant women each year, host retreats (including for men and women who have experienced the suffering of abortion), speak to many national and international audiences, and much more. Yet, all of their apostolic efforts flow from their life of prayer (which is four hours each day) and their fidelity to their religious vocation.

Sister Veronica Mary speaks about “The Charism of Life”:

Sister Faustina shares her beautiful vocation story: