The Corner


Meet Sr. Magdalene Teresa, a Woman Who Makes the World Better

Sr. Magdalene Teresa, S.V., director of the Visitation Mission of the Sisters of Life, with Sr. Virginia Joy, S.V., director of the Respect Office of the Archdiocese of New York on Thanksgiving Day 2020. Photo by Kathryn Jean Lopez

Over the years, I’ve collaborated with my friend Sr. Magdalene Teresa from the Sisters of Life. We had a National Review Institute–Heritage Foundation forum in 2015 (wow, that wasn’t yesterday anymore) where she spoke about the Visitation Mission she’s been running for I think 16 years now.

Here’s Beyond Planned Parenthood: Alternatives for Women (with a keynote from Mollie Hemingway — thus the earrings!):

At Thanksgiving time this year, she spoke in one of our “virus-free” virtual events about gratitude, a favorite virtue here at NRI:

And more recently in January, she talked about what it means to be pro-life in partnership with the Institute for Human Ecology at The Catholic University of America and the Catholic Women’s Forum at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. You can watch that here:

Those are at least the public events!

I mention Sr. Magdalene because today is her feast day – the anniversary of her baptism and the eve of Annunciation, which is the patronal feast of the Sisters of Life – when Mary gave her “yes” to the angel Gabriel. The lives of the Sisters of Life are a daily “yes” and walking with women who want to say “yes” to life, but don’t know how.

There are two women they were praying for this morning who are abortion-minded, but still talking with them. Frequently women are just too scared, and when the abortion is scheduled, it’s hard to get them to the point where they turn away when so many forces are pressuring her to have the abortion. Oh my goodness, it is a heart-wrenching life, in some ways. But they go into each day knowing that only God is Savior, and they will ask the Lord again to use them as instruments. And what joy when a woman does say “yes” to life, recognizing she is already a mother. It’s sacrifice, but it’s joy. Especially when the Sisters are loving you along the way. Really loving women back to life.

Sr. Magdalene reminds me of Mother Cabrini, who walked the streets of Manhattan, too. She perseveres in darkness and sometimes ridiculous circumstances. She has a radiant grace about her and real wisdom and understanding and compassion for the misery humanity faces in these times. She’s very much a mother to the sisters at the Visitation Mission at St. Andrew’s in lower Manhattan (right at the tip of the Brooklyn Bridge, by the courthouses) and the women who come to them who lack confidence in their ability to be mothers.

As I’ve said before, the Sisters of Life are our pro-life credibility. And on the week of the anniversary of my birth this year – grateful, as Roe had been around for a few years, for life – and with this heroine’s feast day today and the whole community’s Annunciation feast tomorrow, would you consider supporting the work of the Sisters of Life?

It’s not enough to want to defund Planned Parenthood. There has to be an alternative and plans and resources for women and families. The Sisters of Life and their network of co-workers are that. Be part of the civilization of life and love by giving to their beautiful lives.

As someone said to me recently: The Sisters of Life should be lavished on for what they do and who they are. And believe me, they are not. Your support makes a statement about what’s important.

Here’s a dedicated link for this little K-Lo birthday fundraiser for them.

Get to know them better here. As I tried to explain here, they have a lot to offer us all, too.

And thanks again as always for your support of NR (here’s Maddy Kearns’s pitch for) and NRI, where we get to highlight beacons of faith and civil society like the Sisters of Life.


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