Maryknoll, NY – Four members of Maryknoll Sisters were elected as new leaders of the congregation at its General Assembly, held September 7-21, 2014, in Woodcliff, NJ.
Convened once every six years to discuss key issues related to congregational life and fulfilling their calling as missioners as well as elect new leadership, the Assembly drew together 147 Maryknoll Sisters from 18 different nations. These Sisters served as representatives of the 458-member congregation in nominating and voting on new leadership, as well as reaching decisions on key issues about their mission and congregational life.
The new members of the Congregational Leadership Team, who will begin their six-year term of service in January 2015, include:
Sister Antoinette Gutzler, President. Sister Antoinette is a 2001 graduate of Fordham University, Bronx, NY, with a Ph.D. in systematic theology. She also holds a Masters of Philosophy in Systematic Theology from Fordham received in 1997; an M.A. in Systematic Theology from Fordham, earned in 1995; a B.A. in theology from Mundelein College, Chicago, IL, earned in 1971, and an A.A. degree in education from Mary Rogers College, Maryknoll, NY, earned in 1968.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Sister Antoinette entered Maryknoll in 1964 at its Topsfield, MA, novitiate from St. Gabriel’s Parish, Queens, NY. Following her formation years, she worked briefly in the Purchasing Department at Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY. Then she received her first overseas assignment to Tanzania, East Africa, in 1971.
After studying Swahili in Musoma, she was assigned to Mwanza where, from 1972-1974, she taught religion to secondary school students and helped begin a center for high school students. She made her final vows there on March 10, 1973.
Sister Antoinette then returned to the United States, working first as a secretary in the congregation’s Education department from January – November 1975, followed by two years speaking about the congregation on behalf of its Development Department at local churches and schools in the New England area.
Sister Antoinette was then assigned to Taiwan in 1978. She studied both Mandarin and Taiwanese and worked as director of the Solidarity Young Workers Center from 1979-1988.
Following four years as Director of Personnel at Maryknoll Sisters Center and six years earning her graduate degrees at Fordham, Sister Antoinette returned to Taiwan in 2001, where she began teaching at the School of Theology at Fu Jen University, while also doing research and responding to invitations to present lectures throughout Taiwan and other Asian countries. She was elected President of Maryknoll Sisters at the congregation’s General Assembly in September 2014.
Sister Antoinette’s recent publications include: “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi: ‘Women Matters’ as an Asian Theological Concern” (2011); “Am I My Sister’s Keeper?” The “Internalization and Globalization of Women’s Homelessness: A Taiwan Perspective” (2010); “Navigating the Tradition: A Christian Feminist Perspective on the Power of Creedal Language to Shape the Lives of Women” (2008); “Entering the Silence: A Christmas Meditation” (2008) and “Shadow Lives/Public Faces: Women, Marriage and Family Life in Taiwan” (2008).
She is a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA), The American Academy of Religion (AAR), consultant to the Ecclesia of Women in Asia (EWA), and a Standing Committee member of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Association of Major Religious Superior in Taiwan.
Sister Numeriana Mojado, Vice-President. Sister Numeriana is a 1998 graduate of Fordham University, Bronx, NY, with an M.S. in Religious Studies and received her R.N. from Far Eastern University, Manila, Philippines, in 1968. She also holds a certificate in clinical pastoral education from the Department of Pastoral Care, Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn, NY, and studied pastoral counseling and spiritual direction at Fordham and theology at Maryknoll Seminary.
Born in San Isidro, Lilio, Laguna Philippines, Sister Numeriana is a Canadian citizen and entered Maryknoll Sisters from St. Patrick’s Parish, Montreal, Quebec, in 1976. She then served as a psychiatric nurse at St. John of God Psychiatric Clinic, Kwangju, Korea, from 1979-1982.
Following studies at Methodist Hospital, she returned to Korea where she worked among the urban poor and provided spiritual direction at a worker apostolate in Songnam City from 1984-1988. She then worked with the urban poor in Chulsandong from 1988-1990. From 1990-1994 she served as Admission Director for the Congregation
Following completion of her master’s degree at Fordham, she returned to Korea, working in private counseling, spiritual direction and vocation ministry in Seoul from 1998-2007. During that time, she also worked with Filipino migrant workers, led retreats at Hwa Dong House, served on the Board of Magdalena House, a residence for women escaping prostitution, and on the Advisory Committee for Wellspring of Peace, a counseling center for sexual abuse.
From 2007-2011, Sister Numeriana served as Personnel Director of Sisters for the congregation, was active in planning and preparation of several events for Maryknoll Sisters’ centennial year in 2012, and joined the congregation’s contemplative community in 2013.
Sister Anastasia Lott, Member. Sister Anastasia is a 1997 graduate of the Maryknoll Institute for African Studies, Nairobi, East Africa, with an M.A. in African Studies (a program under St. Mary’s University of Minnesota) and a 1979 graduate of the University of San Diego in California with a B.A. in Chemistry. She is also a 1975 graduate of Bishop Amat Memorial High School, La Puente, CA, and a 1971 graduate of Blessed Sacrament School, Westminster, CA. She was also a student at Mater Dei High School, Santa Ana, CA, from 1971-1973.
Born in Landstuhl, Germany, while her father was stationed there with the U.S. Air Force, Sister Anastasia was the first of nine children born to Vernon and Shirley Lott, presently of Springdale, AR. She first expressed an interest in religious life while a student at Mater Dei.
While a student at the University of San Diego, she worked as a research assistant in its Environmental Studies Lab and Chemistry Department and as a resident assistant. Following graduation, she served as a Jesuit Volunteer working as a parish outreach worker for Catholic Social Services of Utica, NY, for two years. There she provided services to local parish and community groups, meeting with committees, making home visits, doing crisis intervention, project administration, and initial case work.
Sister Anastasia’s journey with Maryknoll began as a lay missioner in August 1981. After a period of preparation at the Maryknoll Lay Missioners office, Maryknoll, NY, and six months of intensive Spanish language study in Cochabamba, Bolivia, she was sent to Barinas, Venezuela, where she served for the next four years. Her work included community organizing and pastoral ministry in urban areas, as well as assuming administrative and formation responsibilities on the local and diocesan levels and within the Maryknoll Region.
On September 7, 1986, Sister Anastasia entered Maryknoll Sisters at their motherhouse in Maryknoll, NY. Following completion of the congregation’s candidate orientation program, she made her First Vows on November 1, 1987 at the motherhouse.
She was then sent to East Africa where, after a period of language study in Tanzania, she was involved in pastoral and medical work, as well as youth ministry in Bura-Tana, a rural village about 300 miles east of Nairobi in Kenya from 1988-1996. She then moved to Nairobi and was active as a community development consultant, especially with local religious communities and the Jesuit Refugee Service.
In 1997 Sister Anastasia went to Namibia where she was involved with pastoral and leadership training for the Diocese of Rundu from 1997-2002. During this time, she also volunteered at the Rundu Branch office of the National Red Cross Society. During 2002 and 2003, she served as Human Resource Development Officer for Catholic Health services and was a volunteer trainer for Criminals Return into Society (CRIS), teaching small business management and computer skills to ex-inmates.
In 2003, Sister Anastasia was appointed Director of Planned Giving for Maryknoll Sisters, a position she held until 2010, when she was named director of the congregation’s Development Department. She was elected to serve on the Congregational Leadership Team at Maryknoll Sisters’ General Assembly in September 2014.
Sister Teruko Ito, Member. Sister Teruko is a 1995 graduate of Fordham University, Bronx, NY, with an M.A. in Religion and Religious Education. She also holds a masters degree in religious studies from Maryknoll Seminary, Maryknoll, NY, and B.A.in Mathematics from Maryknoll College, Philippines.
Born in Kyoto, Japan, Sister Teruko entered Maryknoll Sisters in 1968 in Quezon City, Philippines. Following completion of the congregation’s orientation program, she was sent to Tanzania, where she taught mathematics at Jargwan Secondary School in Dar Es Salaam in 1970, and at Kilakala Secondary School, Morogoro, from 1971-1973.
Returning to Maryknoll, NY, in 1974, Sister Teruko worked in the congregation’s Development Department from 1975 to 1977, and in 1978, was sent to her native country of Japan. There she did social work for alcoholism-related programs, first in Tokyo from 1978-1980, then in Kyoto at Hope House from 1980-1982.
She then returned to Tokyo, where she worked at Maryknoll Alcohol Center from 1982-1988, until she was appointed Co-Director of Orientation for the congregation, a position she held until 1993. She was then sent to Guatemala where she was involved in the Ministry of the Promotion of Women for the Diocese of San Marcos from 1995-2004.
Sister Teruko then returned to Japan, where she has been in family ministry since 2009. She was elected to the Congregational Leadership Team at Maryknoll Sisters’ General Assembly in September 2014.
Pictured above, from left to right, is Maryknoll Sisters’ new Congregational Leadership Team: Sisters Numeriana Mojado, Vice President; Anastasia Lott, Member; Teruko Ito, Member; and Antoinette Gutzler, President.