The Sisters of the Holy Innocents and St.Gianna Molla will be a Pro-Life Bi-Ritual (Ordinary & Extraordinary
Forms of the Latin Rite) community who desire a life of penance and self-sacrifice for the conversion of our world from the
Culture of Death to the Culture of Life. Post-abortive women who have been reconciled to the Church are welcome to try
their vocation with us.
Age is not a factor in this community, except the lower age limit is
17, as set by Canon Law. Applicants must be Age of Majority for both their state and the State of Tennessee for
entrance. Otherwise, parental permission will be required throughout the discernment and entrance process.
Women who have been raped, or have been sexually abused, but have lived chaste lives in the wake of the assault, are
still considered Virgins by the Catholic Church. All we ask is that they go through the Grief to Grace retreat and recover
their memories before making application. Please see the link below St. Francis de Sales' picture at right.
The sisters will follow the Rule of St. Augustine, who was himself a penitent, with Dominican constitutions, interwoven
with gentle Salesianism.
The community will be under the patronage of St. Francis de Sales, who, coincidentally, was born prematurely, and
died on the Feast of the Holy Innocents. In his spirit, the sisters will distinguish themselves for their great gentleness.
In addition to the three evangelical counsels--poverty, chastity, and obedience--the sisters will also make a fourth vow of
non-violence toward the pro-choice faction.
The Sisters of the Holy Innocents and St. Gianna Molla are to be primarily contemplative in their efforts to lead
hearts to choose life. The sisters will utilize the full spiritual influence of the Catholic Church. Among the
sisters' apostolates will be to organize pro-life Masses, Holy Hours, etc., in parishes, and in their own convent chapel.
External apostolates will include crisis pregnancy centers, and other pro-life work.
The inspiration for this charism came to Gemma (Cloister Outreach coordinator) when she was Sidewalk Counseling outside
the Concord Avenue abortuary Knoxville, TN, in 1989, the same year the Freedom of Access to Clinics Act (FOCA) was introduced
in the U.S. Congress. She saw strongly in the mind's eye red-habited sisters, who looked just like the Nashville Dominicans,
remonstrating with the women entering the clinic, stating that they (the red-habited sisters) had had abortions before entering
the convent, and these women would regret their 'choice.'
Interiorly, she heard Our Lord then mention that the Sisters were not to break the law, despite the fact that Gemma herself
was on the clinic lawn without it being illegal at the time.
Gemma blinked and looked across the street, and saw these same two sisters in a conference, one sitting behind the other
who was at a podium. The petite speaker identified herself as Sr. Augustine Marie; declared that she'd had three abortions
before entering the convent; and that this was her story. Sr. Augustine Marie was the superior.
Information about the new community flooded Gemma's soul so quickly that she could not write it all down. Pro-life
prayer and works; and the Rule of St. Augustine were to be included. The rosary seemed "fuller".
Gemma discussed the charism with the premier bishop of Knoxville, who had no objections to it. However, since she
had presented three proposed charisms to him, he asked that she work on another first. The lay associates for that charism
are now mixed with Dr Gianna's Assistants for Life (DGAL) as DGAL Traumatic Brain Injury/End-of-Life Issues.
St. Gianna Molla was added as patron around the year 2000 after Gemma learned of the saint's beatification.
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