Think about living Gratitude. Think about taking your worldwide heart to mission.
- Published on Saturday, 10 July 2010 21:37
- Written by hmu
"When I returned to the United States after thirty-seven years in Chile, I looked for an extension of my work with the poor. Sister Marie de Lourdes' search led her to write letters to death-row inmates who became friends.
Marie de Lourdes Nassauer was born in Brooklyn, NY and joined Maryknoll in 1947 from St. Lawrence Parish, Rockville Centre, NY. After receiving her education degree from Maryknoll Teachers College, she taught in a St. Louis archdiocesan school for African-Americans and the Maryknoll School for Japanese in Los Angeles, CA.
In 1958 she was assigned to Chile, where she taught in a number of Maryknoll schools and served as principal. These were schools in small towns along six hundred miles of Andes mountains, where children are too poor for the wealthy schools. She also did pastoral work.
After receiving an LPN degree from the University of the State of New York, she was served as a nurse for a year in Chile and continued pastoral work, as well as serving on the Sisters' Regional Governing Board. Since 1996, Sister Marie de Lourdes has been an associate at our New York center's Rogers Library, serving at the circulation desk.
Sister Marie's pen-pal ministry with death-row prisoners spans many years. At one prisoner’s request, she was present with his mother, an aunt and brothers at his execution in Texas. She also has visited inmates at Sing Sing prison in Ossining, NY.
“Acceptance, encouragement and friendship help them cope with the daily hardships of prison life and assure them that someone cares,” says Sister Marie, who also makes a difference in the lives of inmates at the prison in Fishkill, NY.
Sister Marie's advocacy for U.S. prisoners includes her postings on the Maryknoll Sisters prayer board every month, a list of the names of prisoners who will be executed that month in the United States.