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 Marilu Townsend, M.M.

Sister Marilu Townsend, M.M. celebrated her 60th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12th, 2017. She is from Keokuk, Iowa, entered the Maryknoll Sisters in 1957.  After her First Profession, Sister Marilu spent three years at the Center, working in the Records Office and serving as Guest Mistress, before beginning the many dedicated years of study that would prepare her for mission work.

Sister Marilu earned her Bachelor Degree in Chemistry at San Francisco College for Women and then her M.D. at Marquette University.  Sister Marilu worked at an Internship at San Joaquin General Hospital, in California, before completing her Residency in Family Practice.

Sister Marilu went on to a General Surgery Residency, and was appointed the Chief Surgery Resident.

It was at this point that Sister Marilu embarked on her first mission outside the continental U.S. to Hawaii, where she worked with eager dedication for eighteen years as an Emergency Room Physician.

Sister Marilu served for several more years in a San Antonio Emergency Room before retiring from medicine and devoting herself to the full-time care of her elderly parents.  On her father’s death, she continued to oversee her mother’s care, while serving with the St. Vincent de Paul Conference in St. Pius X Parish, San Antonio.

Today, Sister Marilu remains in San Antonio, where she lives out her missionary vocation by making God’s love visible through tireless volunteer work.


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.


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 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 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-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 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.

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.