How old is your Community?
Medical Mission Sisters were founded in 1925 in Washington, D.C.  Our Community started with just four members, from three different countries. Over time, hundreds more women from around the world joined us in our mission of healing presence to those in need. 

Who founded the Medical Mission Sisters
and why?

Austrian-born Anna Dengel, a medical doctor, founded the Medical Mission Sisters in response to the great suffering she saw among mothers and children in what was then North India (now Pakistan) in the early 1920s. Their customs did not permit them to be seen by male doctors, so thousands were dying of preventable conditions and diseases.  Our Community was the first group of Catholic Sisters to be engaged in the full range of professional medical work.  As the times and needs evolved, so did our focus in mission – from hospital-based to community-based, to complementary and holistic health care.  Realizing that healthy people cannot live on an unhealthy planet, today we also advocate and work for the health of the Earth and for a just sharing of the limited resources in our world.

How many members do you have? Tell me more about them.
Today we have 500 Sisters. They are our Canonical members who have made life vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. We also have almost 100 Associate members, women and men who commit themselves to be a healing presence in their own life’s work and life style.

Medical Mission Sisters and Associates live out our call to be present to others in a healing way in a wide variety of ways. Some of us are involved in hands-on health care as medical doctors, surgeons, nurses, anesthetists, technicians, holistic health practitioners and therapists. Others respond to the mental and spiritual needs of persons through psychiatry, psychology, social work, retreat work and pastoral work. Still others are involved in women’s leadership, direct community health programs, administer health facilities, work against the trafficking of women, reach out to the homeless or those with problems of addiction. We also have Community members involved in music therapy, teaching, interfaith work, writing, theology, the creation of art and music, and special accompaniment of those with dementia and those who are close to going home to God.

How are the Medical Mission Sisters organized?
We are organized administratively into the following 15 geographic Units:

East Africa
North America
North East India
North India
South India
The Netherlands/Belgium
United Kingdom
West Africa

Our International Headquarters is in London. Our North American Headquarters is in Philadelphia.

How can I learn more about becoming a Medical Mission Sister or a Medical Mission Sister Associate?
For information on Canonical Membership, please contact :

How can I learn more about becoming a Medical Mission Sister or a Medical Mission Sister Associate?

For information on Associate Membership, please contact Maria Mele at: 

Please also visit our pages for Canonical Membership and Associate Membership.

Do you accept lay volunteers?
It depends on the type of volunteer service you can offer, the country in which we can place you, and the amount of time you can give.  Please direct specific inquiries to Sister Patricia Lowery at:

How can I support the healing mission of the Medical Mission Sisters?
Medical Mission Sisters ask for your prayers for our Sisters, Associates and all of those in need with whom we try to be present in a healing way. We are so appreciative of this vitally important support.

Checks, credit cards and online gifts are gratefully accepted by the Medical Mission Sisters to further our mission of healing.  In North America, gifts can be mailed to: Medical Mission Sisters, 8400 Pine Road, Philadelphia, PA 19111. You also can call: 215-742-6100. There is a Donate button on our Home Page for online giving.

Medical Mission Sisters welcome remembrances in Wills, Trusts or Insurance Policies. Please call the above phone number for the best way to make this kind of gift.

Our Community is designated by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, charitable organization. All gifts to the Medical Mission Sisters are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

For more information