Sister Mary Louise Lynch’s 60 years as a Medical Mission Sister will be celebrated Aug. 15 with a Mass and reception at the sisters’ North American headquarters in Philadelphia. A Baltimore native, Sister Mary Louise entered the Medical Mission Sisters in 1944 after high school. She received a journalism degree from Marquette University and a master’s in religion from St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind. Sister Mary Louise assisted in editing the “Medical Missionary Magazine” and worked on news releases before leaving for mission in India.
Between 1952 and 1955, Sister Mary Louise worked in Pune and New Delhi, India, helping to open the first novitiate in Pune and directing fundraising and publicity activities for Holy Family Hospital, the first Catholic Hospital in New Delhi.
From 1955-57, she was local superior for the Medical Mission Sisters in St. Louis. In 1960, she moved to Philadelphia and worked in several community capacities, including communications director of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
Sister Mary Louise felt called to her hometown in 1973. In Baltimore, she earned her master’s degree in counseling from Antioch College, then assisted in clinical pastoral counseling at Spring Grove Hospital, served as chaplain for women in the Baltimore City Penitentiary and continued part-time work for LCWR.
From 1977-1979, she also worked as a counselor for the Baltimore Archdiocesan Consultation Center. Sister Mary Louise became involved in social justice work and began developing the Medical Mission Sisters’ Alliance for Justice.
She remained in Baltimore throughout the 1980s, co-chairing the Baltimore Archdiocesan Justice and Peace Commission, serving as president of the U.S. Catholic Mission Association, giving group talks on social justice issues, and writing articles on social justice for several periodicals.
Sister Mary Louise resides in Philadelphia, serving as an emerita of the Medical Mission Sisters public relations board and remaining active in social justice issues.