Around the time Sister John Mary joined in 2005, there were more religious sisters over the age of 85 in Canada than under the age of 64, according to statistics from the Canadian Religious Conference. (…)
The Sisters of Life, however, have chosen to be distinct. Sister John Mary and the other sisters wear their blue and white habits at all times, whether they’re praying, eating meals or cycling in the nearby park. (…)
“The habit is an icon of a radical commitment to a generation that thinks visually and needs visual icons,” said Sister Wittberg.
It also helps that the Sisters of Life have a singular focus — preventing abortions. Their pro-life stance acts as a “recruitment funnel” for the order, she said.
The sisters take four vows that define their lives: poverty, obedience, chastity and to uphold the sacredness of life.
The vow of poverty means the sisters rely entirely on donations. Their habits are the property of the convent, as are any vehicles, the communal cell phone, the credit card, shampoo and furniture. (…)
The Sisters of Life have a mission centre in Toronto’s east end where they work five days a week providing pregnant women and new mothers with the emotional and practical support they need to prevent them from getting abortions — cribs, diapers, food, child care, whatever else is necessary.
Their days are also structured around prayer. The sisters rise at around 5 a.m. for their first two prayers, which take an hour and half. There is the midday pray, another prayer at 4:30 p.m., and a final prayer at 8 or 9 p.m. before they head to bed.