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Frequent Questions


  • 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 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.

  • How many members do you have? Tell me more about them.

    Today we have 450 Sisters worldwide. They are our Canonical members who have made life vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. We also have approximately100 Associate members internationally, women and men who commit themselves to be a healing presence in their own life’s work and life style.

    Our 64 Sisters and 50 Associates in North America 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 Associate?

    For information on Associate Membership, please contact Karol Feld at:

  • 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.

    Medical Mission Sisters welcome remembrances in Wills, Trusts or Insurance Policies. Please email Jeanmarie Foy, Coordinator of the Development Center, or call her at 215.742.6100 x 136 for more information.

    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.

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