This week The Wall Street Journal published insights into the life of 30-year-old Sister Bethany Madonna together with seven other Sisters of Life also in their 30s. Based in New York, the Sisters of Life is a reasonably new order established in 1991 by New York Cardinal John O’Connor. Since then, it has thrived. The impetus for the order came when Cardinal O’Connor visited Dachau, the site of a Nazi death camp. It moved him to start a religious community of women with a fourth vow to protect the sacredness of every human life, in addition to the traditional vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Canonically speaking, they are sisters and not nuns, working in the community as they do, rather than living a contemplative life, though they do spend at least four hours in prayer every day.Share
Earlier this year, the New York Post expressed concern at the city’s declining birth rate and the plight of New York families. A significant number of births are from the city’s poorest neighborhoods — nearly 6 in 10 moms were on Medicaid or government-financed health insurance for the needy:
The city’s birth rate is the lowest since 1936 — having steadily declined over the past decade, according to data obtained by The Post. “This is a very troubling trend,” said Conservative Party state chairman Mike Long. “The economy is hurting families and the development of families … If we don’t produce enough young people, society won’t be able to pay for Social Security and Medicaid,” he warned.As its fertility rate declines and more pregnant mothers struggle, one of the things the Sisters of Life concentrate on is helping pregnant women. This includes welcoming pregnant women in crisis to live among them as guests and practically assisting pregnant women in other ways. (Read more.)
Blacks had the lowest birth rate citywide, with 12.7 per 1,000 — and more black women are having abortions than babies, at a rate of 55 percent. “When the abortion ratio reaches nearly 60 percent in some communities, we as community leaders need to examine the choices we are making as we educate our young people,” the New York Metropolitan Clergy for Better Choices said.