My friend Tony Rossi has had the opportunity to interview one of the foundresses of the Sisters of Life, Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, for The Christophers Closeup, and it’s really rather wonderful and inspiring:
Founded after New York’s Cardinal John O’Connor visited the Dachau concentration camp and vowed to protect the dignity of every human life, the Sisters of Life provide a safe haven for women who experience an unplanned pregnancy and aren’t sure what to do. Mother Agnes Mary Donovan tells Christopher Closeup host Tony Rossi that when they get a call for help, “We speak to (the woman) and say, ‘What are the desires of your heart?’ Inevitably she’ll say to us, ‘If this wasn’t the situation or that wasn’t the situation, I’d want this child.’…Then we start putting together ways in which we can meet her needs so she can fulfill her heart’s desire…95% of the women who call us will bring their child to birth.”
Abortion is an issue that stirs up a lot of anger, but Mother Donovan offers a prescription for the negativity – “We’ve found that the simple alchemy of love – loving those that come to us one heart at a time – that is what changes them…(Some) that come to us tell us they are pro-choice; that’s no issue to us. Oftentimes as they’re with us…and we’ve loved them, something will emerge where they’ll say ‘I could never think that again.’…What we see is abortion and those kinds of decisions are fueled by fear. St. John says, ‘Perfect love casts out fear.’ When one is supported and surrounded by love, they see the world and themselves differently.”
You can download the podcast interview with Mother Agnes and other broadcasts, and stories of hope here. It’s very interesting, but very sad to hear that -while many mothers who choose to bear their children manage to reunite with their families- it is a rare thing for the fathers to get involved with their children. Mother Agnes says that the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal assist the sisters in their ministry. I wonder if perhaps someone down the road will found a “Brothers of Life” – an order of meant whose charism is to model responsible, adult manhood, for such young men?
I’ve managed to spend a little time with some of the Sisters of Life, and they are joy-filled women of faith who give tremendous witness to the value of the human person, and the sanctity of life. You can help become a co-worker with the Sisters of Life.
UPDATE: I liked this video so much I have cribbed it from Msgr. Pope
H/T New Advent