Saturday, October 8, 2016, 11:00 AM
Saturday, October 8
Event Contact Name:
Sr. Gertrude Ihenacho
Church of St. Charles Borromeo
211 W. 141st Street
New York, NY 10030
The Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, Inc. (FHM), one of only three orders of mostly Black nuns in the United States, is continuing the commemoration of its centennial year with a celebratory Mass presided over by His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York.
The sisters, who appeared earlier this year on ABC's “The View,” will observe 100 years of service to the community at the event, which closes out the group’s first 100 years and starts Century Two.
It wasn’t always easy times for the order, which is best known for its work in educating the poor and feeding the hungry. In fact, in 2014, facing economic hardships, a decline in religious life by young Americans and an aging and infirm membership, the sisters were planning to shutter their doors.
Inspired by Pope Francis and by scripture they instead decided to embark on a course of revitalization. Since then they have doubled their numbers, with new vocations (recruits) in Nigeria and others studying in Rome. They have also quadrupled their day nursery and expanded their food pantry by more than 10 percent.
On Saturday, Sister Mary Ann Baichan, who runs the order’s St. Benedict’s Day Nursery, will make her first profession of vows in the congregation. The free event will include a free reception after the Mass in the church hall, including a four-course dinner with wine.
Those wishing to support the work of the sisters, including the training of new nuns to carry on their work, are encouraged to make a donation to the organization at