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.


70th Jubilee-Sister Barbara Barr, M.M.

Sister Barbara Barr, M.M. celebrated her 70th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12th, 2017. She was born in the Canal Zone of the Republic of Panama and entered Maryknoll Sisters in 1947. Assigned to Bolivia in 1952, she taught in Maryknoll Elementary Schools throughout the country. She also did In-service Education of Teachers. By1972,”we helped turn over the schools to lay women teachers whom we had been training for years.Then I began working with informal groups in the rural areas.Together we developed a popular “informal” education program for Scripture study groups as well as groups for empowering and promoting Women.” Sister has also served in Congregational Services at Maryknoll, NY where she now participates in the Rogers Community.

70th Jubilee-Sister Ann Klaus, M.M.

Sister Ann Katherine Klaus, M.M. celebrated her 70th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12th, 2017. She was born in Marion, Ohio. and entered Maryknoll in 1947. She was assigned to Tanzania, East Africa, in 1951. In 2012, Sister Anne was assigned to the Rogers Community at Maryknoll, NY, where she is an active member.

Returning to Tanzania, Sister Ann continued her ministry with the development of women. In 1994, Sister Ann joined the Maryknoll Sisters working in Kalebejo in the program VEMA, a Kiswahili word meaning complete well-being. The program includes education, development and health, integrated to bringing about the well-being of people living and working in the villages. Sister Ann joined in the pastoral ministry to the forty-seven outstations. She also helped the women to earn money by selling articles they sewed, and giving seminars on handicrafts in other locations.

Presently Sister Ann works with the urban poor, living on the rocky hills of Mwanza. With past relationships with so many people, Sister Ann channels help to people living with HIV/AIDS, students who are orphans, their caregivers; some widows and others in need. Sister Ann’s goal is to help students finish school, learn a trade and find work. She visits the homes of people she helps, visits the hospital patients and continues teaching baking and solar cooking, and crafts to a group of women. The talents and zeal of this pioneer are still at the service of mission.

From 1987 to 1989 Sister Ann was in Somalia, where she worked with other Maryknoll Sisters in a refugee camp for Ethiopians under the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the Somali health department. At Christmas, Sister Ann wrote home,“In a country where most people are Muslim, celebrating the birth of Jesus takes the form of deepening awareness of the great gift we have been given, and of God’s mysterious ways with people and with nations. Jesus chose a moment of entering our history is somewhat like our present moment in Somalia. The simple life style of the people – taking sheep to pasture, carrying water, cooking over wood fires – is reminiscent of Bethlehem. Each day we witness the fidelity of a whole nation to the call to worship Allah at set times.”

In the ‘70s and ‘80s Sister Ann put her energies into pastoral group work, especially women’s development in rural areas. In the open air, Sister Ann and African co-workers had very practical classes. “We really cook beans, sew a dress, wash a baby.”

Sister Ann witnessed Tanganyika becoming a republic in 1962 and Maryknoll’s friend, Julius Nyerere, being elected President of the United Republic of Tanzania (Tanganyika and Zanzibar) in 1964. When the Tanzania government asked the Sisters to teach secondary school rather than primary, Sister Ann chose to teach adult women basic skills to improve their daily lives. Sister Ann wrote a cookbook in Swahili and later adapted it in her campaign for making solar stoves to save the trees.

During the ‘50s and ‘60s Sister Ann taught in girls schools in various towns in the bush; was in charge of a primary school; and gave domestic science courses to girls who could not go to middle school. Sister Ann taught aspirants to religious life as initial preparation for the African community begun by Maryknoll Sisters, now the Immaculate Heart Sisters of Africa.

After ten years of mission in Africa, Sister Ann visited her hometown, Marion, Ohio, and the family she left in 1947.


70th Jubilee-Sister Cecilia Santos, M.M.

Sister Cecilia Santos, M.M. celebrated her 70th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12th, 2017. Being a neighbor and a friend is part of what mission is about. Sister Cecelia Santos was affirmed in this when she received the “Distinguished Neighbor” award recommended by the people of Coelemu, Chile in 1991.

Sister Cecelia was born in Paia, Maui, Hawaii, the youngest of eleven children. She had imbibed much about mission through her primary and secondary education with Maryknoll Sisters in Wailuku, Maui. After graduating from high school, she entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation in 1947 and graduated from Maryknoll Teachers College with a Bachelor’s degree in Education in 1954. Assigned to Hawaii that same year, she taught for eight years in elementary schools in Waialua and Kalihi.

She was assigned to Chile in 1962, and after a year of language study in Pucón, she continued her education ministry as both teacher and principal in Maryknoll schools in Santiago, Curepto and Chillán. Sister Cecelia was loaned to Hawaii in 1970 and 1971 to teach in Wailuku, Maui and Waikiki, Honolulu. On her return to Chile she continued living in Chillán, teaching sixth grade and making time also for a bible study group, a course for mothers to do sacramental preparation, and, as always, home visiting.

In 1976, her energies and talents were shared for two years at Maryknoll, New York in Supportive Services. She then spent a year living with the Maryknoll Sisters Contemplative Community, an experience she treasures.

Sister Cecelia returned to Chile and the town which still holds her special affection, Coelemu. Her pastoral work included supporting Basic Christian Communities, youth ministry, catechetics and training lay leaders. She has been involved in endeavors as diverse as building a chapel with a group of women for their village, to operating an eyeglasses bank for those unable to afford glasses, and being chaplain of a 60 bed hospital. She presides at wakes and funerals when needed and also Sunday celebrations not covered by the pastor.

Of the forty years Sister Cecelia has spent in Chile, she has been a “Distinguished Neighbor” in Coelemu for twenty-eight years. Besides all of the above she has an exceptional singing voice and brightens entertainments with both Hawaiian chants and Spanish songs.

In late 2015, Sister Cecelia returned to Hawaii to begin a new mission.


70th Jubilee-Sister Charlotte Hobler, M.M.

Sister Charlotte Hobler, M.M. celebrated her 70th Jubilee on February 12th, 2017. She is from Baltimore, MD and joined Maryknoll in 1947. She served on the Maryknoll Sisters Formation team for the novitiate, receiving an assignment to the Philippines in 1965. At Maryknoll College in Manila she was Coordinator and a theology teacher and taught New Testament at the Sister Formation Institute.
Returning to the States, Sister Charlotte studied nursing and Clinical Pastoral Education, was a volunteer at a health center, and received her license as a registered professional nurse from the University of the State of NY Education Dept. She became Director of Nurses at the Maryknoll Sisters Nursing Home.

Responding to a request for nurses from the National Council of Churches when the war in Lebanon was growing worse in 1982, Sister Charlotte joined a group who were to reopen the Palestinian Hospital in Gaza between two refugee camps near West Beirut. During those three months, “Hard lessons came to those of us new to refugee nursing. One was that not all the psychiatrists in the Middle East could meet the needs of people traumatized by war.”

In 1983, Sister Charlotte joined the Maryknoll Sisters diocesan team in the jungle area of El Peten, Guatemala, traveling by jeep and hanging a hammock to give courses for women in nine parishes—Preventive Health, basic evangelization, courses to raise the dignity of women. When they turned this work over to their women Collaborators, Sister Charlotte worked as a nurse educator on an AIDS team in San Marcos and Quetzaltenango.

She became a member of the Eastern U.S. Region in 2007 and is a volunteer in the Housing Advocacy Committee in the twin parishes of Most Precious Blood and St. Anthony of Padua in Baltimore, MD.

70th Jubilee-Sister Jean Fallon, M.M.

Sister Jean Fallon, M.M. celebrated her 70th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12th, 2017. She was born in Seattle, WA, on May 7, 1930, Sister Jean Fallon entered Maryknoll sisters from St. Joseph’s Parish, Seattle, at their motherhouse, Maryknoll, NY, on September 6, 1947.  She made her first profession on March 7, 1950, receiving the religious name Sister M. Therese Martin, and her final vows on March 7, 1953, in Saiin, Japan.

Her first assignment was as a parish catechetical worker in Kyoto, Japan, where she served from 1951-1953. She then continued the same work at a parishes in Saiin, Japan, from 1953-1955; Ostu from 1955-1962, Takano from 1962-1965, and Yokkaichi from 1965-1969.

Sister Jean then returned to Kyoto where she was an English teacher as well as parish worker there, as well as in Tsu and Mie Ken from 1969-1971.  She was then appointed to the congregation’s Regional Governing Board, working as well in communications, retreat work, as a bookkeeper and English teacher from 1971-1973. She also worked in Christian community formation in 1973.

Sister Jean then returned to the United States, where she served on the congregation’s World Awareness Team for the western States from 1974-1979.

Later in 1979, she returned to Japan, where she first became involved in justice and peace ministry, conducting exposure programs for religious, while also serving as a media work translator and English teacher, from 1979-2000.

She then returned to the United States, where she worked as an associate of Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY, from 2001-2006.  She continues to be active in speaking and demonstrating on peace and justice issues in the New York Metropolitan area, as well as serving short-term with Christian Peacemaker Teams, an organization working for peace in the most deeply war-torn areas of the world.



70th Jubilee-Sister Kathleen Higgins, M.M.

Sister Kathleen Higgins, M.M. celebrated her 70th Jubilee on February 12th, 2017. She was born in Brooklyn, entered Maryknoll in 1947.  After earning her B.E. at Maryknoll Teachers College, she taught primary school in New York’s Chinatown for five years before setting out on foreign mission to Chile.

On her arrival, Sister Kathleen first dedicated herself to a year of language study.  She then continued her education ministry in primary and secondary school until 1967, when her ministry shifted to pastoral work.

Sister returned to Chile after a six-month furlough and immediately immersed herself in teaching and catechesis.  Full of love for the Chilean people, she served as Coordinator of Religious Education for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade children.  In addition to this she moderated the parish youth group, taught English and Religion, and even acted as Middle School Principal for a time.

Then, in 1972, Sister Kathleen returned to the Center, where she worked in Information Services and Direct Mail until 1974.  She next spent a year working in New Jersey with the Cuban population before going again to Chile to devote herself to another almost ten years of pastoral and catechetical work, including ministry to women and youth.  During her final two years in South America, Sister Kathleen gave her love and energy in the slums, ministering to the poor and marginalized through soup kitchens, sewing groups, and many other types of service.

Since 1984, Sister has worked in various U.S. mission centers, first at the Center and the Seminary, then in NYC, San Jose, Redwood City, Los Angeles, and finally Monrovia, where she remains today.  Throughout these years she has served in pastoral, teaching, and catechetical work:  serving in numerous ways, from homeless shelters and RCIA programs to Bible groups and ESL classes.  Today she is an active and loving member of the Monrovia community.


70th Jubilee-Sister Margaret Hennessey, M.M.

Sister Margaret Hennessey, M.M. celebrated her 70th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12th, 2017. Sister Margaret, known to all as Peg, forms part of a pastoral/medical team that works with the poor and homeless and those afflicted with HIV/AIDS in Lima, Peru.

Sister Peg Hennessey of Flushing, NY entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation in 1947, having graduated from Bishop McDonnell High School in Brooklyn, NY. After earning her R.N. at St.Catherine’s Hospital School of Nursing, Sister Peg was assigned to Bolivia in 1953 where she worked in a parish clinic in Cochabamba for three years. She then went to the jungle mission of Riberalta, Beni, Bolivia, where she worked in the Sisters’ hospital. In 1960 she was assigned to the town of Azangaro in the Altiplano of Peru, where she did home visiting and worked in an out-patient clinic. After 3 years, the town of Juli, Peru, received her. There she did catechetical work. Sister Peg also did nursing in a government clinic. It was there that she saw the need for health education. She then began to teach in the newly formed Rural Life Institute. Sister returned to the U.S. where she earned a B.A. in Community Service. Returning to Peru, she continued her nursing and health education as well as the training of Rural Life Promoters in the town of Ilave, another Altiplano area. 1976 found Sister Peg in Lima, Peru, where she was instrumental in founding the Peruvian Missionary Society with Fr. Tom Garrity, M.M. She continued her formation work for the next 4 years in Villa El Salvador while becoming active in nursing those afflicted with tuberculosis. In 1984 Sister moved to the pueblo of Pachacamac in Lima where she again worked with those with tuberculosis, the #1 cause of death both among the poor of Lima and among women of childbearing age. She considered that tuberculosis was caused as much by poverty as by germs. “While living in Pachacamac some of my neighbors were afflicted with AIDS and I started to learn more about this recent disease. Over the last few years this has led to my participation on a team that visits HIV/AIDS patients both at home and in the hospital. Some of the team members also prepare monthly retreat days for the patients. I continue to care for people with TB.” It was here that Sr. Peg began Health-Life and Hope, a group that tried to help members overcome ignorance, isolation and despair.

Currently, Sr. Margaret has returned to the Sisters Center where she in an active member of the Chi Rho community.


70th Jubilee-Sister Margaret Tryon, M.M.

Sister Margaret Tryon, M.M. celebrated her 70th Jubilee on February 12th, 2017. Sister Margaret Tryon entered Maryknoll on October 30, 1947 at Valley Park, Missouri from the Parish of St. Thomas Aquinas in Croydon, PA.

From 1950-1952, Sister Margaret studied at the New York State University of Applied Arts and Sciences and earned an Associate Degree in Food Service Administration.  In 1952, Sister Margaret worked in Bethany Kitchen.

Her first overseas assignment was in 1953 to Hawaii, where she taught in elementary schools before going to Micronesia where she taught on the Island of Majuro.

From 1971-72, Sister Margaret was at the Center in Central Services as Food Service Liaison.  Upon her return to Majuro, Sister Margaret taught one-half day; performed in-service teacher training for Micronesians, along with a radio ministry until 1978.  From 1978-1985, Sister Margaret worked in Hawaii in Pastoral ministry and Catechetics.

Later, Sister Margaret gave Center Service at Rogers Library from 1976-78.   After renewal, Sister Margaret returned to Hawaii and was involved in Pastoral Ministry from 1978-81 and Catechetics from 1981-85 in Hawaii.

Sister Margaret returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center and helped in Congregational Services until illness in her family necessitated her presence from 1990- 1992.

From 1993-1996, Sister Margaret did pastoral with women in Hawaii.

Sister Margaret resides at the Center and her Prayer Ministry is Central Pacific.

70th Jubilee-Sister Marilyn Evans, M.M.

Sister Marilyn Evans, M.M. celebrated her 70th Jubilee on February 12th, 2017. She is from Minneapolis, MN, a Montessori Early Education specialist, believes that education is a family affair.  Maybe that is why she’s just at home with elderly missioners as she has been with preschoolers.

A Maryknoll Sister for nearly 70 years, Sister Marilyn served for many years as coordinator of the Montessori Education Center at Maryknoll School, Honolulu, HI.  She then took three years off to serve as a social work assistant at Maryknoll Sisters Nursing Home ( now known as Maryknoll Home Care) where she worked with elderly and infirm members of her congregation.

Then, in 1991, came the request from Maryknoll Bishop Quinn Weitzel, MM, to serve in America Samoa. The bishop had visited the Education Center in Hawaii and been impressed with what was being accomplished and how the students were responding.  It seemed a perfect fit for the children in America Samoa, he thought, so he asked Sister Marilyn to begin a Montessori program for the school they had already set up there.

So would begin more than 20 years of ministry which, while sometimes challenging, would bring a great deal of satisfaction and joy to Sister Marilyn’s heart. “They have such beautiful customs and culture,” she recalled while chatting with one of our staff upon her return the United States in 2013. “It was so interesting to learn their culture and meet them that way. To meet their ideals and understanding and even have them learn about our culture, as well, particularly our high respect for children.”

During her more than two decades on the Island, she not only contributed to the lives of children but also provided the specialized training necessary for anyone who wanted to teach in a Montessorry school. Over time, several schools opened.  At first, the Sisters ran the schools; then, finally, as is always the plan of any Maryknoll missioner, the local people were ready and released to run the schools on their own.

Now retired and living at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Monrovia, CA, Sister Marilyn hopes to find avenues in which to exercise her gifts and experience and her love for children in the local area, near Los Angeles, or help in any other way that she can.