From the mailbag

by Dennis Coday

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From the mailbag comes this news release from the Medical Mission Sisters of Philadelphia, Pa.

75th Anniversary of Historic Vatican Decree

February 11, 2011 marked the 75th anniversary of the Vatican Decree Constans Ac Sedula, a proclamation that enabled Catholic Sisters to train and have their members work as medical doctors, surgeons and obstetricians.

The Medical Mission Sisters and many bishops, priests and missionaries around the world had appealed to Rome for many years to change a Middle Ages Canon Law that prohibited Sisters with public vows from being doctors. 75 years ago the Vatican not only lifted the ban but also encouraged that “new Sisterhoods be founded which shall devote themselves ... to the care of mothers and children in peril of life and health.”

Medical Mission Sisters, founded in 1925 as a “pious society” because of the Canon Law restriction, were the first Catholic community of Sisters to train and have their members work as Sister-Doctors around the world. Many other Orders of Sisters over the years have joined them in this special service, especially to woman and children in need of professional, compassionate health care.


Medical Mission Sisters
8400 Pine Road
Philadelphia, PA 19111

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