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Women Religious

Women religious consecrate their lives to the Lord Jesus.  They are invited to share a special relationship with him, dedicating their lives to prayer, to the service of others, and to building up his Church and his early kingdom.  Women religious most often belong to religious orders, whose members share a common charism or mission and way of life.  There are contemplative communities, dedicated to prayer, and active ones, dedicated to serving in communities and parishes.  You will find religious sisters at work in many different ministries. They teach our children, care for the sick, aid the poor, advocate for justice, welcome immigrants, fight for the unborn, pray on our behalf, and so much more. 

Currently, there are 23 different congregations of religious women represented in the Diocese of Portland.  Below, you will find some stories of their ministries and mission.

If you are interested in learning more about vocations to religious life, you may contact Sister Rita-Mae Bissonnette, the Diocesan Delegate for Religious, at 207-773-6471 of You may also contact the vocations offices of the religious communities.

Share a Memory with the Sisters of Mercy

The year 2015 is a special one for the Sisters of Mercy. It marks their 150th year of service in Maine.  As part of their celebration, the Sisters are collecting memories from all those who wish to share stories about a particular mission or a special Sister who touched their lives [details].

150 Years of Walking Among Us, featured in Harvest magazine

From the first bishop of Portland until today, the Sisters of Mercy have been teching, healing, and serving the community in whatever ways have been needed. [details]

Saint André Home's new center, featured in Harvest magazine

Through its new Center for Parenting and Play, Saint André Home is strengthening families by helping them embrace the importance of having fun. [details]

Sister Anne Fitzpatrick featured in Harvest magazine

Sister Anne Fitzpatrick, RSM, continues to serve others and live out the charism of the Sisters of Mercy despite physical limitations resulting from multiple sclerosis.  Read how Sister Anne is "still climbing mountains,"  as featured in the July / August issue of Harvest magazine. [more]

Five Women take the Mercy Challenge

Sisters of Mercy from across the United States recently gathered in Philadelphia to welcome five women who were following a call to discern religious life. These women came to engage in Mercy Challenge, a program that has been sponsored by the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas for many years. [learn more]

Garage sales support Loaves & Fishes in Sabattus

Every Tuesday and Wednesday, from 9 a.m. until noon, the Dominican Sisters hold a garage sale to benefit the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry.  Located at the sisters’ convent in Sabattus, Loaves & Fishes has been providing food and clothing to area residents in need since 1997. [learn more]

New Mercy leadership team announced

During a gathering of Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Associates and Companions in Mercy, the sisters elected a new leadership team for the Sisters of Mercy - Northeast Community: Jacqueline Marie Kieslich, RSM, president; Maureen Mitchell, RSM, vice president; Donna Conroy, RSM; Patricia Flynn, RSM; and Patricia Moriarty, RSM. [learn more]

Sisters of Mercy honor hotel for stand against human trafficking

The Sisters of Mercy presented the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, NH, with a copy of the Sisters of Mercy – Northeast Community’s corporate stand against human trafficking in recognition of the hotel’s efforts to combat trafficking. Carlson Hotels, parent company of the Radisson and the Country Inn and Suites chains, was the first U.S. travel and hospitality company to sign the international Code of Conduct to fight child sex trafficking. [learn more]