The call to be “wholemakers” was emphasized to Maryknoll Sisters at a special Mass held this past Sunday, February 15, 2015, to honor members of the congregation celebrating their 75th, 70th and 60th jubilees with Maryknoll Sisters at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY.
Referencing Bible passages from the day’s Mass, which told of Jesus healing a leper, despite the fact that He would be considered “unclean” by the religious authorities of His day simply because He had touched him, Sister Suzanne Moore, one of the jubilarians, drew an analogy with the work they, as Maryknoll Sisters were called to do. Like Jesus, the Sisters were called to reach out to those who were broken or rejected in society and do what they could to make them whole.
“We Maryknollers are welcomers,” Sister Suzanne said. “We try to make people feel whole. We are wholemakers. Those who come to us we strive to receive warmly. Our smile, our touch becomes their understanding that we care, just as theirs does for us. … It takes faith and courage to welcome the outcast, to bring that person the clarity that they matter to God and to us, to love and assist them.
“Oppression doesn’t fit today,” Sister Suzanne further commented, alluding to scientific discoveries of an ever expanding universe and teachings of theologians such as Teihard de Chardin that have led to wider, more embracing understandings of our cosmos and what it means to live as Christians in today’s world. “We hear the voices of those in need. Lepers, immigrants, the abused, human traffickers, children robbed of their childhood, people of every land are our sisters and brothers, deserving of and asking for recognition, justice and inclusion. According to Ched Meyers in his book, Binding the Strong Man, the lepers represent the presence of life-long oppression, and Jesus took steps to annihilate that… and brought us to a greater understanding of the great love God has for each creature… none to be left behind. What a challenge! Yes, we have embraced it and we will continue to do so.”
A separate Mass for Sisters celebrating 75 years with the congregation will be held in the Fourth Floor Chapel of Maryknoll Sisters Center next Sunday, February 22, 2015, at 11 a.m.
Ten other Sisters, each marking half a century of service with Maryknoll, will celebrate their milestone at another Mass, to be held August 2, 2015, at the Center. Three Sisters marking a quarter century of service will do so on Sunday, September 13, 2015, in Japan.
Those Sisters celebrating 60, 70 and 75 years with the congregation in 2015 include:
Sister Alice Regina McGinn of Providence, RI. Sister Alice Regina has served as a principal, teacher and catechetics instructor in Bolivia and Peru. She also has been involved in pastoral ministry at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and other parishes in Providence. She holds a B.S. in education from Maryknoll Teachers College.
Sister Mary Naab of Passaic, NJ. Sister Mary is a social worker who has served most of her time with Maryknoll in the Pacific. She has been in management with Catholic Social Services in Hawaii and California, and helped establish a CSS program in American Samoa.
Sister Vivian Votruba of Minneapolis, MN. Sister Vivian is a medical doctor and has spent most of her 75 years in Bolivia and Peru. She also served in a hospital on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico and gave public health service at St. Catherine’s Mission in Minnesota, and currently resides at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining, NY.
Sister Camille Marie Black of Andover, NY. Sister Camile Marie served as nursing supervisor of medical, surgical and pediatrics at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Manapla, Philippines; assistant director of Colegio Monte Maria boarding school, Guatemala City, Guatemala; and nurse in a clinic, then hospital, also in Guatemala.
Sister Louise Bullis of Brooklyn, NY. Sister Louise served in Hawaii, as a teacher and religious education coordinator, for 55 years. She has made her home at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining since 2007, and was active in coordinating special events for the congregation’s 100th anniversary in 2012.
Sister Cecile Therese Burton of Washington, DC. Sister Cecile Therese was an educator, then religious education coordinator, in Hawaii for 38 years. She then worked with women in prisons and shelters in Hawaii from 1991-1999.
Sister Maria Rosario Daley of Albany, NY. She was a teacher, then guidance counselor, and finally sacristan and Eucharistic minister in Hawaii, where she currently makes her home. She also taught mathematics at Mary Rogers College, Ossining, NY, and served as personnel coordinator of lay employees at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, also in Ossining.
Sister Noel Chabanel Devine of Philadelphia, PA. Sister Noel taught at St. Therese’s School in Chicago’s Chinatown from 1959-1969 and 1983, serving also as religion coordinator for both school and parish from 1985-1991, directing the parish’s Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program. She also taught at Maryknoll Sisters Secondary School in Hong Kong, where she also established a guidance and counseling department, from 1969-1972, and in the congregation’s Archives office from 1980-1983. She presently resides at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY.
Sister Doretta Leonard of New York, NY. A graduate of Bishop McDonnell Memorial High School, Brooklyn, NY, Sister Doretta taught and did catechetical and parish work in China for 54 years. She has made her home at the Maryknoll Sisters Center since 2005.
Sister Marie Morgan of Pittsburgh, PA. A pharmacist with a certificate in clinical pastoral education, Sister Marie worked at Queen of the World Hospital, one of the nation’s first interracial hospitals, in Kansas City, MO; doing leadership training, catechetics and facilitating a weaver’s cooperative in Jacatenango, Huehuetenango, Guatemala; worked in AIDS preventative education in Guatemala and El Salvador, and pastoral ministry in Mexico. She currently resides at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY.
Sister Joan Ratermann of St. Louis, MO. Sister Joan served in Chile for 49 years. During that time, she work as a teacher, principal, catechetical trainer, Bible study group and retreat leader, as well as in pastoral ministry. She now lives at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY, where she worked in the Development Department from 2005-2009, and, since then, is dedicated wholly to prayer for the Chilean people.
Sister M. Katharine Razwad of Boston, MA. Sister Katharine taught in the South Pacific for 18 years, then, after earning a master’s degree in counseling and psychology at Boston College, worked as a counselor from 1973-1975 and in preventative counseling on the elementary school level in the Boston Public School System from 1976-1983. She also served as a substitute teacher for the Boston school system and as a guidance counselor for St. Brigid’s School, Boston, from 1990-1995. She currently resides at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY.
Sister Maria Rieckelman of Cincinnati, OH. Sister Maria is a physician and psychiatrist. She worked in Asia, first Korea, then Hong Kong, for 13 years, then embarked upon 27 years of itinerant ministry to other missioners and leaders in 30 different nations, helping them face issues of interpersonal growth, leadership, trauma and stress through workshops, retreats and individual counseling. She currently resides at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY.
Sister Gloria Ryan of Brooklyn, NY. Sister Gloria served in the Philippines for 19 years, first as a teacher then working with the poor in Filipino barrios. She then returned to the United States where she worked with runaway girls at St. Brigid’s Convent, New York, NY, and taught in the adult education program of the Rochambeau School, White Plains, NY. She also worked with Salvadoran refugees out of St. Brigid’s Convent, Westbury, NY. Sister Gloria currently resides at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY.
Sister Kathryn Shannon of Oconomowoc, WI. Sister Kathryn has taught in New York, Hawaii, and Tanzania, where she also worked in primary evangelization, religion, literacy, leadership traing, adult education and community development. She also served in Zimbabwe, where she taught at the Danhiko School for former Freedom Fighters and at St. Alphonsus Parish, where she was also involved with community development. She also served as a teacher and catechist trainer in Southern Sudan, and was involved with justice and peace issues via the Maryknoll Sisters’ Center Cerns Committee at their Center in Ossining, NY. She presently makes her home at Maryknoll Sisters Convent, Monrovia, CA.
Sister Theresa Baldini of Brooklyn, NY, has been part of her congregation’s contemplative community since 1963. During that time, she has not only served in the congregation’s contemplative community near Ossining, NY, where she presently resides, but founded such communities among the Navajo people in New Mexico and in Sudan.
Sister Mary Edna Brophy of High River, AB, Canada. A medical missioner, Sister Mary Edna has spent most of her 60 years in Hong Kong, where she has train others in nursing and provided administration at hospitals and clinics. She has also provided health care to the elderly and infirm of her own congregation near Ossining, NY.
Sister Joyce Burch of Memphis, TN. A medical technician and nurse, Sister Joyce has served at Queen of the World Hospital, Kansas City, MO, the first interracial U.S. hospital, then in Tanzania and Kenya, finally working to care for the health of ill and elderly Maryknoll Sisters at its Center near Ossining, NY, where she currently resides.
Sister Elizabeth Burns of Hartford, CT. A medical missioner, Sister Elizabeth has provided health care in Korea and the United States. Now residing at the Sisters Center near Ossining, NY, she became recipient of Distinguished Managerial Service Award from the State of Connecticut in 1987 for her work with the Connecticut State Health Department from 1973-1999. During that time, she served first as a hospital inspector and consultant, then as Chief of Licensure and Certification of Medical Facilities, then as Director of Hospital and Medical Care, and finally as Chief of Staff of the Health Department.
Sister Anne Callahan of Lowell, MA has served two terms as Treasurer of her congregation, located near Ossining, NY. She has served as an educator and principal in Hawaii, as well as a pastoral worker in Mexico and Guatemala. She currently lives in Baltimore, MD.
Sister Marlene Condon of Montevideo, MN. Sister Marlene is a medical missioner who served at Queen of the World Hospital, the nation’s first interracial hospital, in Kansas City, MO, as well as Chile and Guatemala. She is currently director of St. Mary’s Hospice, Pajapita, Guatemala.
Sister Kathleen Kelly of Chicago, IL. Sister Kathleen most recently served at Mujeres Latinas en Accion, a bilingual social service agency in Chicago, and, previously, at the Institute of Human Promotion, working for human rights and the welfare of families and communities in Nicaragua. She has also taught commercial subjects in Nicaragua.
Sister Vera Krass of Jamaica, NY, has served in Tanzania, Kenya and the United States. Her work has including teaching high school in East Africa, working with the homeless in Honolulu, HI, and with senior citizens in California.
Sister Josephine Lucker of El Paso, TX, has spent much of her missionary life in Africa, first as a teacher, then headmistress, at schools in Tanzania, then providing catechetical training throughout East Africa, followed by work with refugees in Zimbabwe and El Salvador.
Sister Suzanne Moore of Burlington, VT, a social worker for more than 50 years, coordinates immigration services at Maryknoll Sisters Center near Ossining, NY, and works with immigrants under the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary Life Center at St. Ann’s Parish, Ossining, and other Westchester County locations.