Sisters transitioning sponsorship of Holy Redeemer Health System

September 1, 2020

The Sisters of the Redeemer of Meadowbrook, Pennsylvania, are transferring their sponsorship of the Holy Redeemer Health System of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, to Redeemer Ministries, a public juridic person.

Members of the new Redeemer Ministries public juridic person are, from left, Filomela "Phyllis" Marshall; Timothy Abell; Sr. Anita Bolton, CSR; Sr. Ellen Marvel, CSR; Sr. Anne Marie Haas, CSR; Dan Gallagher; and James Paul.

The Vatican recognized the new juridic person on June 10. The congregation and the juridic person are in a transition period that will last several months, according to the congregation. There will be a celebration and Mass to mark the official full transfer, when it is safe to hold such an event, given the potential of COVID-19 contagion.

According to the congregation, the transfer will help ensure the health system maintains its Catholic identity well into the future. Used by numerous Catholic health systems, the juridic person sponsor model allows for laypeople to have oversight when it comes to health systems' adherence to church teachings and their promotion of Jesus' healing mission. In the case of Holy Redeemer Health System, the juridic person also will ensure the preservation of the charism and spirit of the Sisters of the Redeemer.

The health system includes a hospital, four senior living communities, a network of outpatient facilities, home care and other programming.

"We have always recognized and valued the critical role lay partners in mission play within our ministries," said Sr. Ellen Marvel, CSR, leader of the Redeemer sisters' U.S. province.

According to information from the congregation, 12 Sisters of the Redeemer arrived in the U.S. from Germany in 1924, and at the height of the congregation's membership in 1938, there were 141 sisters. Currently there are 16 Redeemer sisters in the U.S.

Sr. Marvel said a decade-plus of planning preceded the Vatican's approval of the PJP. In 2011, the sisters established a pilot sponsor model and invited laypeople to discern a call to serve in sponsorship and to commit to formation to do so.

Fr. Charles Bouchard, OP, CHA's senior director of theology and sponsorship, said, "The Sisters of the Redeemer did it right. They started with a pilot sponsor model and prepared future sponsor members. Then they sought formal establishment of their new juridic person. This is the best way to ensure a smooth transition and allow the sisters to have maximum influence and participation in the new entity."

He added, "The importance of this new sponsor entity cannot be overestimated. It provides a way to continue a ministry of health care and the spiritual tradition of the Redeemer sisters, but it also enables laypeople to assume responsibility for a ministry of the church in an entirely new way.

"They will no longer be just assisting the sisters with their ministry, they will be fully accountable for this ministry to the church," Fr. Bouchard said.

While the congregation no longer will have a formal sponsorship role after the transition, individual sisters will continue to serve on the juridic person as well as in the health system.


Members of Redeemer Ministries Members of the new Redeemer Ministries public juridic person are:

  • Dan Gallagher, who will be president of Redeemer Ministries, is a vice president of Waste Gas Fabricating Co.
  • Timothy Abell is president of
    Firstrust Bank.
  • Sr. Anita Bolton, CSR, is province assistant, Sisters of the Redeemer.
  • Sr. Anne Marie Haas, CSR, is senior vice president of Holy Redeemer Health System.
  • Filomela "Phyllis" Marshall is dean of the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing, Thomas Edison State University
  • Sr. Ellen Marvel, CSR, is province leader, Sisters of the Redeemer.
  • James Paul is president of Thomas J. Paul Inc.
  • Members serve three-year terms that can be renewed.


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