Sister Mary Powers, M.M. celebrated her 75th Jubilee on February 12th, 2017. She was born in Fall River, Massachusetts. Before joining Maryknoll in 1942, she had worked for five years, as an agent for a periodical publisher’s service. When asked why she joined Maryknoll Sister Mary said, “I wanted to be a missionary and when I visited Maryknoll I just knew it was right for me.”
Sister Mary made her first vows in 1945 and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Maryknoll Teachers College, in 1948. That same year, she made her final commitment as a Maryknoll Sister.
In 1949, Sister Mary received her first mission assignment to Hawaii where she worked for 25 years in the field of education, serving as a teacher and administrator on both the elementary and high school levels.
From 1976-1981, Sister Mary worked at Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York, where she served in the treasury department and as the supervisor of the direct mail office. Sister Mary returned to Hawaii in 1981 as an administrative assistant for the guidance department and student services at Maryknoll High School.
After decades in the field of education, Sister Mary’s ministry took on a new dimension in 1984. Sister Mary, with the help of the health department, started Project Respect, an interfaith service for the frail elderly, funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Sister Mary served as the director of the project.
In 2010, Sister Mary retired at the Center and her prayer ministry is the Central Pacific.