Mother Mary Michael and her community in Steyl had already spent almost seventeen years in their hidden life of adoration, prayer and work, practically unknown to the rest of the world. Mother began to feel that it was time to found another convent of perpetual adoration – but where? While she and her council were prayerfully considering this matter, the answer unexpectedly came from across the Atlantic. It was an invitation to found in Philadelphia, the so-called City of Brotherly Love. Since the first suggestion of this possibility reached the Motherhouse on the vigil of Pentecost, it was regarded as inspired by the Holy Spirit. Archbishop Edmund Prendergast, third Archbishop of Philadelphia, longed to establish perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in this city. His advisor suggested that he build a chapel and convent to be entrusted to a cloistered community devoted to perpetual adoration. A generous benefactor, Cornelius A. Lane, bequeathed a legacy to the Archbishop for this purpose. Among the names suggested for the new chapel, the Archbishop selected: Chapel of Divine Love. How appropriate for a chapel dedicated to perpetual adoration of the Sacrament of Love by Sisters consecrated to the Spirit of Love. The Archbishop chose Pentecost as titular feast of the chapel.
With great joy, Mother Mary Michael announced this plan to the community on Pentecost. In May 1915, eight Sisters sailed from Rotterdam for Philadelphia. In the meantime everything was prepared for them. The morning after the Sisters’ arrival, the Archbishop offered Mass in their chapel and afterwards welcomed them to his archdiocese. His graciousness made them feel very much at home. On the feast of Corpus Christi, June 3, 1915, the Archbishop solemnly enthroned the Blessed Sacrament and perpetual adoration was begun. The first monstrance was the gift of the Drexel Family, whose most distinguished daughter was the now canonized Mother Katherine Drexel. The Sisters in their pink and white habits were something new in Philadelphia and were soon nicknamed “Pink Sisters”, a popular title which has remained ever since.
Eventually the original convent became too small for the growing community. Three large neighboring brownstone houses were acquired, which after some years showed many signs of deterioration. From 1963-1965 these old buildings were razed and a new convent built. Situated near the center of the city, the Chapel of Divine Love is a haven of peace and quiet amid the hustle and bustle of the great metropolis.
How to contact
Convent of Divine Love
2212 Green Street Philadelphia,
PA 19130-3197 U.S.A
Tel: (001) 215-567-0123
Fax: (001) 215-569-8314
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