May Appeal


You have made a difference in an area where people desperately want a better quality of life but are unable to get even basic health care.  Sister Jane Buellesbach, M.M. shares with you the story of Guadalupe, one of many children in Guatemala that grow up praying to survive and holding on to hope for the chance at a better life:

“Years ago, Guadalupe’s mother decided to participate in the Health Promoters program which we have been running for some years.  Guadalupe entered primary school in this rural village where she was taught in a classroom with two other grades (three in all).  She loved studying and finished primary school with no trouble. Secondary school was a different story.  The only thing available in her village was a radio school, which operated several hours a week.  Guadalupe did very well, although the preparation was far from adequate for any further studies.  Undaunted and inspired by her mother´s work in Health, she asked to go on and study professional nursing. Since she is one of five girls and her father only works as a farmer, there was no way her folks could afford such an expense.   Because of her mother´s faithful, voluntary service to her community, she asked about the possibility of a scholarship for Guadalupe.


Thanks to friends and donors we agreed to sponsor Guadalupe.  Once again she amazed us, overcoming insuperable obstacles.  She wanted to help pay for her studies so looked for work cleaning houses in the late afternoon, after attending classes until 2p.m.  Her evenings were spent studying.  She saved every penny and was able to pay her own tuition, the scholarship providing books, uniforms, transportation and room and board.  After her first year she was leading the class scholastically.

At the end of the year only 16 of the 160 students who started the course finished, and yes, you guessed it, Guadalupe was at the top.  She is now in her last year of study looking forward to graduation and being able to work to help her younger siblings study as well as help with family expenses.  She has a job offer after she graduates which is unheard of in this area.  She is truly an extraordinary and remarkable young woman!” – Sister Jane

Sister Jane has established programs to involve the Guatemalans in becoming self-sufficient in matters of personal hygiene, preventive medicine and the treatment of parasitic and contagious diseases.  A small medical team that traveled by horseback was developed to bring much-needed health care to people living in desperate poverty.  Local residents are trained as certified health promoters who perform various medical tasks.  The health volunteers are taught how to diagnose, treat, and prevent the most common diseases.  A scholarship fund was set up to help train the volunteers.

Sister Jane has seen what can be accomplished when we not only bring in support services but also train local residents to help themselves.  Together, we are making God’s love visible.


60th Jubilee-Sister Mary Tracy, M.M.

Sister Mary Tracy, M.M. celebrated her 60th Jubilee on February 12th, 2017. She is from Summit Argo, Illinois, Sister Mary entered the Maryknoll Sisters in 1957. She spent her first years as a secretary and also working at the U.S. Postal Service office at Maryknoll. After receiving her B.A. degree in community service in 1970, Sister Mary went to Cochabamba, Bolivia, for Spanish language study.

Arriving in Chile, she worked in the southern sector of Santiago in a población called La Bandera. This was undeveloped farmland that was taken over by a large group of homeless families. She worked in a program of alphabetization and did some community organizing until the September 11, 1973, military coup put an end to her work. After taking a practical nursing course at the local public hospital, she worked in several public health clinics in the area and assisted social workers at a refugee center.

Receiving her nursing degree from Columbia University in 1982, Sister Mary responded to an appeal from Church World Services for nurses to volunteer for a three-month period in the understaffed hospitals of West Beirut, a predominantly Muslim sector of the city. Her emergency hospital was located in a parking garage under a 12-story apartment building.

Sister Mary remembers holding a flashlight between her teeth while she changed dressings. “It’s been a great opportunity to meet and work with the Palestinian and Lebanese patients and staff as well as the international staff of volunteers—a wonderful group of people.”

In 1983 when Sister Mary returned to Chile and a población in Santiago named El Castillo, the military government had already decided on a policy of eradication of slums in many parts of the capital. That policy, along with terrible flooding in another part of the city, sent some 50,000 people to El Castillo, where there were no jobs, no schools, no paved roads, no buses, no clinics, and no electricity. Gradually, electricity and buses were put in, and people went to work in other parts of the city.

In the course of the next 13 years, the Sisters worked with families as they set up soup kitchens. At one point, 2,000 people were eating one main meal a day in 13 different soup kitchens. They also had programs of intensive organic gardening, solar fruit dehydration and a knitting cooperative, and collaborated with other groups in health care and community services, including a day care program for indigent elderly persons.

In 1996, Sister Mary worked for two years as the assistant director of nursing at the Maryknoll Residential Care Center, primarily serving in assisted living.

Back in Chile in 1999, Sister Mary worked in a program offering assistance to the indigent elderly in their homes. She also set up a parish group aimed at visiting the sick in their homes.

At the end of 2000, she returned to the United States to care for her own mother at the family home. “This was a privileged time and I was with her until her death in May of 2005.”

Back in Chile, Sister Mary was part of another parish program, visiting the homebound sick and elderly and residents of a nursing home that housed indigent patients. She was also one of the parish Eucharistic Ministers to bring Communion to these same people.

Sister Mary was assigned to continue her missionary life in the Eastern United States Region in November of 2011.  She is located in Summit Argo, IL where she taught ESL to Polish-speaking religious women during several years, while also assisting an elderly relative and visiting a few homebound parishioners.  The Polish Congregation has since moved out of the parish.


60th Jubilee-Sister MaryLou Rajdl, M.M.

Sister MaryLou Rajdl, M.M. celebrated her 60th Jubilee on February 12th, 2017. When Sister Mary Lou arrived at Maryknoll, NY in 1957, she looked up at the Sisters Center and said, “Coming from a farming community in Minnesota, my first thought as I looked up at the building was, “it sure would hold a lot of hay!”

Through her years in mission Sister Mary Lou has endeared herself regaling everyone with her great sense of humor as a story teller, spiritual director, nurse, and retreat director. Assigned to Hong Kong in 1963 she pursued Cantonese language study and then worked as out patient department supervisor at Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital in a small clinic extremely hectic, crowded and busy. Patients and staff noticed her kindness and patience.

In Lantau Island, Sister Mary Lou extended the hospital’s Community Nursing and also had a Prayer Presence ministry. Back in Hong Kong she gave activity-oriented programs in Creation Spirituality, conducting retreats  in Vietnamese camps, spirituality days for Catholic and ecumenical groups and clown ministry sessions. Developing the leadership in the group, she asked them to name the theme they wished which gave insights into their needs. She changed students’ ideas of what a retreat could be.

In 1978 Sister Mary Lou was assigned to the Eastern U.S. Region and worked in Chinatown, Chicago primarily as medical/social work interpreter, taking many Chinese to clinics and hospitals. She also served as the school nutritionist and was its community representative. Sister Mary Lou continues to do pastoral ministry with the Chinese and Burmese; is a Spiritual Director and part time Instructor; a member of the Maryknoll Society Review Board and oversees the Maryknoll Sisters Orientation house in Chicago during the months when they are at the Center in NY.

60th Jubilee-Sister Melinda Roper, M.M.

Sister Melinda Roper, M.M. celebrated her 60th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12th, 2017. She is from Chicago, IL, graduated from Saint Scholastica High School, and attended Michigan State University from 1955-1957. She then entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation at Maryknoll, NY. Sister Melinda served in various roles with the Maryknoll Sisters, beginning with Sisters’ Novitiate at Topsfield, MA, from 1960-1963. She then taught at Colegio Monte Maria in Guatemala from 1963-65.

The following year, Sister Melinda joined the Pastoral Center in Marida, Yucatan, Mexico, where she was involved in catechetical work. She spent a year in Chiapas, Mexico, studying the dialect of the indigenous peoples. In 1971 Sister Melinda earned her B.A. in theology from Loyola University in Chicago. Returning to Guatemala, she served as a staff member in the Centro Apostalico in Huehuetenago. After 14 years serving in Central America, Sister Melinda was elected President of the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation, an office she held from 1978 to 1984. During this time, Sister Melinda received various honorary degrees, including the Doctor of Humane Letters, from Loyola University, Emmanuel College, Fordham University, Catholic University of America, Regis College, New School of Research, and Albertus Magnus College.

Sister Melinda was assigned to the Vicariate of Darien, Panama, in 1985. There, she is engaged with a team of Maryknoll Sisters who live and work with Indians, African Americans and Mestizo settlers. The Sisters travel to 38 different communities instructing Delegates of the Word, catechists, teachers and young mothers. Their main objective is the formation of Ecclesial Basic Communities, small groups that pray and work for a more just and compassionate world.

60th Jubilee-Sister Angela Brennan, M.M.

Sister Angela, from Donegal, Ireland, entered Maryknoll in 1957. She has an MA in theology from the University of San Francisco.

Sister Angela went to Hawaii in 1968 and taught and coordinated religion programs in two Catholic schools. She also directed retreat programs, coordinated Bread For The World, and served as chairperson of the Hawaii Council of Churches’ Nature division.

In 1978, Sister Angela went to Northern Ireland, where she ministered to people who sought healing at a reconciliation center run by a community of Christians.

After about a year, she returned to Hawaii and the work she had begun at the high school. From Hawaii, she went to Majuro in the Marshall Islands, where she taught in the Catholic high school.

Sister Angela went to Coelemu, Chile, in 1985. She ministered to people who had suffered through years of civil unrest and violence in their country.

In 1996, Sister Angela went to Kenya, where she was involved in pastoral work. She returned to the United States in 2001 and was pastoral agent at St. Barbara’s Parish in Brooklyn, New York. She also worked in the Hispanic RCIA program and ministered to prisoners and their families.

Sister Angela is currently in El Salvador, where she gives direct ministry to prison inmates, many of whom have no family. She serves at some of El Salvador’s largest prisons, helping out with liturgical celebrations, support groups, and individual spiritual direction.

60th Jubilee-Sister Anne Marie Emdin, M.M.

Sister Anne Marie Emdin celebrated her 60th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12, 2017. She was born in Utica, New York. She graduated from St. Frances de Sales High School and worked one year in the Industrial Bank of Utica before entering the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation in 1957.

After working in both the Seminary and Maryknoll Sisters kitchens, it was not surprising that Sister Anne Marie Emdin received her B.S. in Dietetics from Fontbonne College, St. Louis, MO in 1967. She did her Dietetics Internship at Milwaukee General Hospital in 1968. In 1970, Sister Anne Marie Emdin was assigned to Hong Kong and studied Cantonese for two years. Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital was blessed to have Sister Anne Marie as Dietician and Purchasing Dept. Supervisor for four years, after which she changed positions to Pastoral Ministry and Public Relations in the busy Out Patient Dept. for five more years.

In 1979, Sister Anne Marie’s deep concern for the elderly began and continues to this day. In the Chinese culture, the elderly have always been treasured. However, refugee housing in crowded Hong Kong was built for the nuclear family, not the extended family, and many grandmothers found themselves in a lonely situation. So, besides her hospital work in 1979, Sister Anne Marie volunteered as a warden at the Helping Hand Temporary Shelter for the Elderly.

In 1982, Sister Anne Marie became Administrator of Caritas Ying Shui Home for the Elderly in Yuen Long, Hong Kong, a hostel designed to serve the elderly who were able to care for themselves. However, Sister Anne Marie took a drug addict whom no one else would accept and an autistic street sleeper with no known identity, whom they named “Po Chun” (Precious Pearl).

From 1988 to 1991, Sister Anne Marie’s administrative talents were used as center coordinator for our large community at Maryknoll, New York.

On her return in 1992, Sister Anne Marie moved to Macau and began, with the Pastor, Father Peter Chung, Our Lady of Fatima Elderly Center for folks who had been relocated from small-village living to high-rise apartments, which uprooted their social way of life. With a subsidy covering 70 people, the center managed to accommodate three times the number of seniors and more. Sister Anne Marie was a director of the elderly center until 2005.

Now, she is a volunteer who gives pedicure and manicure services, takes blood pressure, gives haircuts, and shares in the programs and outings. Since 90 percent of the elderly in her region are not Christian, some prayer and recreation is done with the Universal Buddhist Association.


60th Jubilee-Sister Ardis Kremer, M.M.

Sister Ardis Kremer, M.M. celebrated her 60th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12th, 2017. She is a Southerner from Gulfport, Mississippi. After completing a year of college at St. Mary’s Dominican in New Orleans, she entered Maryknoll in 1957. She was assigned to Hawaii in 1968. At that time, the Marshall Islands were part of the Maryknoll Sisters Hawaiian Region and Sister Ardis’s first experience was in Majuro, an atoll-island in Micronesia. As tourism became an island industry, Sister Ardis helped the Marshallese turn their cultural shell art and weaving toward items attractive to the tourists. She also taught Religious Education to children and adults, and learned the values of their culture.

In Honolulu, Sister Ardis continued to be involved in catechetical and pastoral work. After receiving her LPN from Kapiolani Community College in Honolulu, she worked as a nurse in Queen’s Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital.

Since 1975 Sister Ardis’ home has been on the island of Molokai where she has served in Molokai General Hospital and worked with the Dept. of Health of the state of Hawaii. Sister Ardis has worked with adults, teenagers and children in health services. Presently she prays and works with the team that came to continue St. Damien’s mission on Molokai. Besides teaching fourth grade, Sister Ardis has taught Religious Education, high school and elementary for the past twenty years. At Our Lady of Sorrows, east end, Sister Ardis is a Presider at Communion Service when the pastor or deacon is not on the island.

Well known as an animal lover, Sister Ardis has healed more than one four footed creature! She is President of the Molokai Humane Society and assists the veterinarian occasionally when the assistant is unavailable.


60th Jubilee Celebration-Sister Constance Pospisil, M.M.

Sister Constance Pospisil, M.M. celebrated her 60th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12th, 2017. She is a nurse from St. Thomas the Apostle parish in Rockville Centre, N.Y., was assigned to Chile in 1961, where she worked as a clinic nurse and in community-based health education programs until 1982. She then assumed administrative ministry at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York until 1989, after which she was assigned to Brazil.

For four years, Sister Connie worked to help establish a holistic health center for women in the marginated areas of Joao Pessoa, in the state of Paraiba in northeastern Brazil.

Sister Connie joined the Maryknoll Contemplative Community in 2004 and has been part of the Sisters’ prayer presence in Lemoa, Guatemala.


60th Jubilee-Sister Elizabeth Kato, M.M.

Sister Elizabeth Kato, M.M. celebrated her 60th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12th, 2017. Since joining the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation on September 2, 1957, Sister Elizabeth Kato of Hawaii has been continuing to make God’s love visible in her mission country, Japan. She arrived in Kyoto in 1967 and, following her language studies, she was assigned to Yokkaichi in 1968 where she taught at the Maryknoll Girl’s school. Her master of both the English and Japanese language allowed her to teach not only secondary school students but adults, as well.

In 1984, she focused her attention in Tokyo where she supervised a day center for skid row elderly while also teaching English at a Buddhist junior college, at a vocational training school for homeless teenagers, and a nursing school.

With the influx of migrant workers in Japan in 1999, she joined the solidarity  center in the Yokohama Diocese to work at the Philippine Desk. She accompanied migrant women who had been abused by their husbands or partners. She also translated case histories, newsletters and reports from Japanese to English.

Currently, Sister Elizabeth divides her ministries into four groups where each one caters to the needs of the people whom she shares her life with. She is part of Kalakasan, a migrant women empowerment center where she does the administrative, financial and networking tasks and participates in a bicultural children’s program designed for traumatized children who have witnessed their mothers being battered. She finds time to be part of the Oriens Institute for Religious Research publication Japan Mission Journal of which she is a member of the editorial board involved in editing, proofreading and planning for future articles. She also belongs to the Japan Catholic Lay Missionary Movement where she works with the formation team that trains people for overseas mission in Southeast Asia. She concentrates on helping them improve their English Communication skills. A member of the Philippine Center at Maryknoll Tokyo, she does migrant outreach, counseling and visiting migrants at police stations and detention centers, as well as engaging in religious education in Japanese for children of migrant workers who haven’t been able to fit into the regular parish system.


60th Jubilee-Sister Marcella Hoesl, M.M.

Sister Marcella Hoesl, M.M. celebrated her 60th Jubilee on February 12th, 2017. She entered Maryknoll in 1957 from her home in Cincinnati, Ohio after graduation from Villa Madonna College (now Thomas More) Covington, KY. Her doctorate in theology is from the Institut Catholique of Paris, France.

Sister Marcella has served in Mexico, Guatemala, southern Sudan and Great Britain. She has taught at Maryknoll School of Theology, was Dean and Head of the Department of Mission at Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham, England, an ecumenical consortium, and Assistant Director of the Theological Institute of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Edinburgh, Scotland. She served briefly as pastoral associate at St. Ignatius Loyola Parish, Cincinnati before becoming Academic Dean and Professor of Systematic Theology at Oblate School of Theology, San Antonio, Texas. This School of Theology has prepared persons of many nationalities for ministry within several cultures, and particularly within the Hispanic community.

Presently, as a retired theology teacher in the Maryknoll Sisters Eastern U.S. Region, she lives in Hamilton, OH, and is a regular reviewer of books for Missiology. Sister Marcella volunteers at St. Raphael’s Social Service Agency in Hamilton, devoted to helping the poor and homeless; facilitator for care-givers with Catholic Charities; and does care-giving for her cousin.