Sister Agnes Patricia Boland, MM,

Sister Agnes Patricia Boland, MM,
Missioner to Panama, Mexico and the Eastern United States
Dies at 86

Boland, Patricia '15Maryknoll, NY — Maryknoll Sister Agnes Patricia Boland, a missioner to Panama, Mexico and the Eastern United States, died June 17, 2015, at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY. She was 86 years old.

Born on February 19, 1929, in White Plains, NY, to Patrick James and Mary Agnes McGuinn Boland, Sister Pat, as she was more commonly known, grew up in Brooklyn, NY, graduating from St. Rose of Lima School, Brooklyn, in 1943, and St. Brendan Diocesan High School, also in Brooklyn, in 1947.

She entered Maryknoll Sisters Congregation at the Venard, Scranton, PA, from St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, Brooklyn, on September 4, 1948, and was given the religious name Sister  M. Margaret Alacoque. She made her First Profession of Vows on March 7, 1951, and her Final Vows on March 7, 1954, both at the Motherhouse in Ossining, NY.

Following formation, Sister Pat enrolled at Maryknoll Teachers College, graduating with a bachelor’s in education in 1954.  She was then sent to Panama, where she taught Grades 1-7 at Colegio San Vincente, Ancon, Panama, from 1954-1958.

Toward the end of 1958, Sister Pat was sent to Mexico, where she served as assistant principal and English and math instructor at a high school in Merida, a town in the Yucatan, until 1961.

She then returned to Colegio San Vincente in Panama, teaching fifth grade for a few months until she was appointed religion coordinator for Santiago Junior High School, a position she held from 1962-1966.

Sister Pat then returned once more to Mexico, where she served as assistant principal, supervisor, teacher trainer and finally principal at an elementary school in Puebla from 1966-1971.

Later in 1971, Sister Pat returned to the United States, where she would serve for the rest of her years in active ministry.  Following completion of a master’s degree in education at St. John’s University, Jamaica, NY, in 1972, she served as a graduate student representative on the faculty council of the University’s School of Education, while completing studies for a professional diploma in educational administration and supervision at the school. She received that diploma in 1974.

Sister Pat then worked as a remedial reading teacher for troubled youth at Lincoln Hall, Lincolndale, NY, from 1974-1977. She then was sent to New Hampshire, where she again taught remedial reading, this time to disadvantaged youth, followed by teaching fourth grade in a local public school, from 1977-1980. In September 1980, she was appointed principal of the Main Street Public School, Exeter, NH, a position she held until 1984.

Sister Pat was then sent to Washington, DC where she worked as assistant director of Rachael’s Women’s Center, a day center for homeless women,  from 1984-1986.  Later in 1986, she moved to Albany, NY, where she worked as director of the U.S. Catholic Conference’s Refugee Resettlement Program until 1990, and taught English as a Second Language to homebound  Polish and Vietnamese women in the city. She then worked as a teacher in a public elementary school from 1990-1996.

Sister Pat also served as a pastoral volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Albany, where she was active in the ecumenical  and interreligious affairs program, and helped spearhead an outreach program that birthed a sister parish relationship between St. Vincent’s and the Maryknoll Sisters’ work in Darien, Panama. Sister Pat was also very involved in justice and peace issues, serving in a variety of organizations and on the congregation’s Social Concerns Committee.

A vespers service wwasheld for Sister Pat on June 22, 2015 in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center at Maryknoll, NY.  A Mass of Christian Burial followed on June 23, 2015 in the same location. Interment was at the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.

Sister Teresita Rellosa, MM,

Sister Teresita Rellosa, MM,
Missioner to Her Native Philippines,
Dies at 82

Rellosa, TeresitaMaryknoll, NY — Maryknoll Sister Teresita Marie Rellosa, a missioner to her native Philippines for over 50 years, died on June 12, 2015, in the Philippines on their Independence Day.

Born on April 21, 1933, in Pangil Laguna, Philippines, to Esteban and Norberta De Ramos Rellosa,  and christened Eleonora Rellosa, Sister Teresita entered Maryknoll on June 1, 1962, at the congregation’s Philippine Novitiate, in Quezon City, and spent most of her 53 years with Maryknoll Sisters in her home country.

She was first assigned to work in Maryknoll College’s regional offices in Manila, then Baguio City, where she served from 1965-1970.  Then, on February 14, 1971, she made her Final Vows in Cateel, Davao Oriental, preparing the whole liturgy and even composing the lyrics and music of the entrance hymn used that day, “With Joy Let Us Walk to Our God.

Following her Final Vows, Sister Teresita was sent to Maryknoll High School in Cateel, Davao, where she taught math and served as the school registrar through 1972. After a year studying at Centro Escolar University, Manila, where she earned a B.S. in education and math, Sister Teresita spent a few years (1974-1983) as a school teacher and administrator, as well as parish worker, in Upi Cotabato and Quezon City. She was then assigned to pastoral work in the rural communities of Buug and Zamboanga del Sur, where she served from 1983-1991.

After three years working in the Development Department and Information Services Office at Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining, NY, she returned to the Philippines, where she worked as Finance Officer for the Institute of Formation and Religious Studies in Quezon City from 1995-1997. She then became involved with community and advocacy work in Quezon City, where she served until 2014.

“Immersing ourselves deeper into the life of these people is a continuous experience of self-emptying and personal remolding which I believe is consistent with the spirit and example of Jesus,” Sister Teresita once said. “It is like removing our sandals to be able to enter into the ‘sacred ground.’ It is an ‘Incarnation’ experience for me.”

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered for Sister Teresita on June 15, 2015, at Miriam College, Quezon City, Philippines.  She was laid to rest in the Maryknoll Sisters Mausoleum at Miriam College.

Sister Joan Cordis Westhues, MM

Sister Joan Cordis Westhues, MM,
Missioner-Educator to the Philippines, the Marshall Islands and Bangladesh,
Dies at 91

Westhues, Joan CordisMaryknoll, NY —  Sister Joan Cordis Westhues, MM, missionary educator and community health worker in the Philippines, Bangladesh and the Marshall Islands for over 50 years, died Saturday, June 13, 2015, at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY.  She was 91 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 70 years.

Born on January 30, 1924 in Jefferson City, MO to Henry John Westhues and Helen Margaret  Roer Westhues, Sister Joan Cordis was baptized Marjorie Ann Westhues, attended Immaculate Conception High School and graduated from St. Peter’s Interparish High School, Jefferson City, in 1942. She entered Maryknoll at its motherhouse on September 6, 1944, from Immaculate Conception Parish in Jefferson City, MO. and made her final vows on March 7, 1950, at the Maryknoll Sisters’ motherhouse.  A 1965 graduate of the Asian Social Institute, Manila, Philippines, with an M.A. in socio-theological studies, she also held a B.S. in chemistry from Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY.

Sister Joan Cordis was first assigned to the Philippines, where she taught high school religion, English, math and science in Manila from 1951-1958. She was then sent to Yap in the Marshall Islands, where she taught grades 7-9 from 1958-1960.

In 1960, Sister Joan Cordis was appointed novice mistress of the Maryknoll Sisters Philippine Novitiate in Quezon City, a position she held for the next ten years.

Following a year working with the congregation’s retirement team in Valley Park, MO, Sister Joan Cordis was involved in catechetical education for the Diocese of Jefferson City, MO, then returned to the Philippines in 1972, where she taught theology and English in Lupon, Davao Oriental, from 1974-1976.

She then worked with the Community Extension Service Community-Based Health Program of Cotabato City, Philippines, from 1976-1977 and 1980-1981, during which time she also trained local health workers to use a microscope and setting up community laboratories in nine community-based health programs in the Kidapawan Prelature.

From 1981-1985, Sister Joan Cordis served as assistant coordinator of the Health and Development Program’s Mindanao Regional Office in Davao City, Philipppines.  She then worked for the same program, this time in District III, serving five parishes in the Ipil Prelature, Philippines, from 1985-1992.

In 1993, Sister Joan Cordis was called to Bangladesh, where she worked at the Center for Women with Addictions in Dhaka, opening BACHA (the Bangladesh Alternative Course for Human Advancement) Education for Life Center in 1995. In 1997 she began working with youth in Dhaka, as well.  Sister Joan Cordis also served as principal of BACHA English Medium School from 2001-2006. She returned from Bangladesh to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in 2013.

Sister Joan Cordis is survived by three of her sisters: Jane Schmidt of Phoenix, AZ, Marilyn Evans of St. Louis, MO, and Elaine Westhues of Mesa, AZ. Her sister Rosemary, Bebe and her one brother Msgr. John Westhues have predeceased her.

A vespers service was held June 14, 2015, at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial followed on June 15, 2015, also at the Center. Interment was in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.