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The History of the Journey of Hope

In an effort to acquaint our friends and supporters with the good works of the Sisters, each year, the Journey of Hope has focused on celebrating a significant Handmaid milestone. 


The Inaugural Journey of Hope, held April 14, 2010, coincided with the foundation of the congregation one hundred and thirty three years earlier on April 14, 1877, in Madrid, Spain.   In a moving tribute, Philadelphia broadcasting pioneer and television personality, Liz Matt, narrated the journey of St. Raphaela Mary and her sister, Dolores, as they embarked on the establishment of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Sisters in formation also shared the stories of their journeys, and their desire to commit their lives to the Handmaid mission.  (more text…) View photos.


In 2011, the Journey of Hope celebrated the 85th Anniversary of the Handmaids’ presence in the United States. Philadelphia Eagles former general manager, Jim Murray, was the master of ceremonies for the event.  The evening featured a silent auction and a live auction, conducted by Advisory Board member Ken Boyden with proceeds netting more than $140,000.  (more text…) View photos.


The 2012 Journey of Hope was the first event held to honor a Handmaid, and paid tribute to Sr. Kathleen Helbig, Sr. Maureen Gillespie, and Sr. Julia Walsh  —  Handmaids who were lauded for their personal “journeys” in celebrating fifty years of consecrated religious life. Highlights of the evening including "roasting" and toasting the Sisters, in addition to a silent auction that featured authentic items from the 1960's.  (more text…View photos.

2010: The Journey Begins

In 1873, a young Spaniard, Raphaela Mary Porras had begun searching for a way that she could serve God.  It was then... (more)

2011: The Journey Moves Across the Atlantic

The initiation of a Handmaid province in the United States began in 1925, when the former Archbishop of Philadelphia... (more)

2012: Three Fifty-Year Journeys Are Celebrated

The evening began with a cocktail reception, planned and coordinated by Beth Conroy.  The menu, which hinted at the 1960’s, featured a sumptuous buffet and an array of canapés and tasty hors d’oeuvres... (more)