On Monday, Oct. 27, Archbishop Charles Chaput will celebrate a Mass in recognition of the Medical Mission Sisters’ 75 years of service in Philadelphia. Medical Mission Sisters from Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and North America will be in attendance.

The liturgy, which will be held at the community’s North American Headquarters in Northeast Philadelphia, marks the beginning of the 90th year of the founding of the Medical Mission Sisters.


Founded in 1925 in Washington, D.C., by Austrian-born Dr. Anna Dengel, the Medical Mission Sisters were befriended by Cardinal Dennis Dougherty from their earliest days.  A former missionary himself, Cardinal Dougherty invited the sisters to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia when the community outgrew its residence space in Washington.

Grateful for the invitation, the sisters were able to purchase the property of Clarence Illingsworth in the Fox Chase section of Philadelphia. The sisters moved to Philadelphia in August 1939.

Currently in mission in 17 nations around the world, the Medical Mission Sisters are hosting an international gathering of community members in leadership from mid-October through mid-November at their headquarters in Fox Chase.