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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 close to 500 Sisters worldwide. They are our Canonical members who have made life vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. We also have approximately 100 Associate members internationally, women and men who commit themselves to be a healing presence in their own life’s work and life style.

    In the United States, there are around 65 Sisters and 50 Associates. Ministries include immigration, de-addiction programs, hospice and companionship, teaching, working with those without homes and women on the streets, leadership positions, holistic healing, music, and more! The older Sisters who are unable to work directly in the field or assume internal community leadership positions, remain actively involved in prayer, in companionship with each other, and stay current with local, national and international news. They are intentionally conscious of being a healing presence with all those they encounter and have retained meaningful friendships with Sisters and Associates around the world, sharing wisdom, guidance and support.

  • 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
    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?

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

    For information on Canonical Membership, please visit our international website 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 Tina Burkholder, Coordinator of the Development Center, or call her at 215.742.6100 x 178 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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