Sarah Hanley

May is one of my favorite months of the year. All around our beautiful city, I love to see and hear the evidence of life bursting forth in the blooming of the flowers and the singing of the birds. It’s no coincidence that we dedicate this time of rebirth to the mothers and mother figures in our lives who have loved and cared for us.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I’ve been reflecting on the incredible joys, privileges, and sacrifices that come with being a mother. As mothers, we are called not only to bring life into the world, but also to give everything we have to provide a lifetime of nurturing care as we take on the great responsibility of raising our children. Motherhood is a journey of self-discovery, growth, and profound love that shapes the lives of children and mothers alike.

Preserving a Mother’s Legacy of Love

The Gianna Center of Philadelphia knows a lot about what it takes to be a mother. Since 2009, the center has provided natural family planning education, pro-life reproductive healthcare, and infertility services to women as they seek to realize their dream of becoming mothers. Additionally, they offer resources and support to help women address the spiritual and emotional dimensions of their health.

The Gianna Center is named for St. Gianna Beretta Molla, a  Catholic pediatrician who practiced medicine in Italy during the 1950s. St. Gianna was a mother of four who dedicated her life to her children and brought a maternal instinct to treating her patients’ physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. In recognition of her life of care and sacrifice, Gianna was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2004 as the patron saint of mothers, physicians, and unborn children.

Legacy in Action

At the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia, we celebrate the Gianna Center and its critical work as a beacon of hope for women across the city as they seek to become mothers and build a foundation of love and support for their children.

As stewards of the gospel, we strive to build bridges of understanding and unity, fostering a sense of belonging and community for all. That is why our Foundation is deeply committed to addressing the needs of a wide array of organizations like the Gianna Center. Through charitable fund management and strategic grantmaking, we support Catholic organizations, programs, and initiatives spanning healthcare, education, social services, and community development.

In 2023, The Catholic Foundation established The Gianna Center Fund to support the work being done at the center with holistic, systemic, and compassionate fund management. The fund accomplishes pragmatic goals by helping maintain the Gianna Center’s property, infrastructure, equipment, and capital expenditures. It also supports the center’s full slate of social services, educational services, ministries, programs, and organizations. Our partnership ensures the Gianna Center can continue supporting mothers for generations to come.

Our team is grateful to everyone who has already contributed to the Gianna Center Fund. Please prayerfully consider how your generosity can help them continue to serve mothers and mothers-to-be throughout Greater Philadelphia. To make a gift, please visit

I also encourage you to learn more about the transformative power of estate plan giving during Create Your Catholic Legacy Month. You can learn more by visiting The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia website at


Sarah O. Hanley is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia.