In 1925 Mother Anna Dengel saw the need for women medical professionals to heal women and children in then-Pakistan, where women were forbidden to be treated by male doctors. She and three companions founded the order of sisters in Washington, and Philadelphia’s Cardinal Dennis Dougherty was instrumental in bringing them to Philadelphia in 1939. He also was instrumental in making a change in church law that allowed the women health professionals also to serve as religious women. See the full story on the celebration of their 75 years in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, Oct. 27. (Photos by Sarah Webb)
A photo of Mother Anna Dengel, founder of the Medical Mission Sisters, hangs on a wall outside the chapel where Archbishop Charles Chaput celebrated Mass Oct. 27 at the sisters’ North American headquarters in Fox Chase.
Archbishop Chaput preaches the homily at the anniversary Mass.
Archbishop Charles Chaput accepts the offertory gifts (from left) from Medical Mission Sisters Therese Tindirugamu, Edith Dug-Yi and Emma Panizales.
Sister Edna Villafuerte, center, offers a sign of peace at Mass.
Associate Loretta Whalen, left, and pre-candidate Evelyne Mballa pray together at Mass.
Sister Suzanne Mascheck, M.M.S., is coordinator of the North American Sector, headquartered in Philadelphia’s Fox Chase section.
Archbishop Chaput greets Sister Rosemarie Lier after Mass.
The archbishop greets Sister Jean Lorenz after Mass.