“That’s our biggest thing,” she said, “is to make their dreams come true because nothing should stand in the way of them achieving everything they want.”
“Pregnancy is not a disease,” she emphasized.
Sr. Magdalene Teresa agreed that material resources can be an obstacle to choosing life. But she said that the biggest challenge is “the spiritual and the lack of hope and the sense of basically not knowing” motherhood, including from their own mother.
“For me, that’s a big desire, is to provide that gift of maternity in our mission,” she responded.
The sisters do little things to lead to a “bigger place” – a place where women know, “I can rest in my maternity” and “rest in joy of being with my children.” One of those little things is offering women a cooking class to make dishes with chicken.
At other locations, like their Sacred Heart convent in midtown Manhattan, they house and live side-by-side with pregnant women in need.
“The beauty of our charism,” she said, “it does speak to the heart.”
The sisters’ “basic message,” she said, is, “You are made in the image and likeness of God. You are unrepeatable and irreplaceable. And because you’re unrepeatable and irreplaceable, the child in the womb is.”
“You’re so loved by God,” she added. “You’re loved into being. If you were somehow not loved, you would cease to exist.”
The sisters dedicate their lives to both speaking and acting on that message. They’re not alone either, with over 20,000 volunteers to help them.
Among the problems that concern Sr. Magdalene Teresa is the pressures that push women toward abortion, including diagnosis via prenatal testing.
(Story continues below)
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While prenatal testing is becoming more accurate, she stressed that “sometimes God does something in the womb that is unbelievable.”
“I’ve had so many times where there’s this amazing test that says the baby’s going to have this really hard, very difficult anomaly.” she said. She remembered a time when “everybody was praying” for a baby with a prenatal diagnosis. He ended up being just “fine, he was huge.”
“If we reverence life, even in the medical world, it would lead to great gifts,” she concluded. “There’s a great need to share the joy of life, even if it’s an hour long.”
One of the things that drive people to abortion is fear, she said. But the sisters counter that with love and “also some courage.”
“We walk with women,” she said. “That’s one of our big works, is to send coworkers or ourselves to the appointments with the women just to back them up.”
She also looked to what the future might bring for the sisters.