Sister Lourdes Fernandez, M.M. Maryknoll Sister for 56 Years, Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Lourdes Fernandez died on July 7, 2023 In Moundou, T’chad.  She was 80 years old and a Maryknoll Sister for 56 years.

Sister Lourdes Fernandez on March 27, 1943 was born in Ramon, Isabella, Philippines to Simeona (Reyno) and Primitivo Q. Fernandez.  She had four brothers and two sisters; she is survived by her brother Diosdado, and two sisters, Gloria Valdez and Nena Nacionales.

From 1954 to 1958, Sister Lourdes attended La Salette of Santiago High School in Isabela, Philippines.  In 1960, she received an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts from the La Salette College of Santiago. She continued her studies at Saint Rita College, Manila, Philippines where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1964.  She received her Master’ degree from the Maryknoll School of Theology in 1974.

Sister Lourdes entered the Maryknoll Sisters on June 26, 1967 from Manila, Philippines.  She pronounced her First Profession of Vows on June 6, 1971, in Hong Kong, Macau Region and her Final Vows on November 27, 1975 in Hong Kong.

In 1969, she received her first mission assignment to Hawaii, where she taught at St. Ann’s School in Kaneohe until 1971.  She moved to Hong Kong that same year, where she taught English and Religious Education for three years.  In 1973, Sr. Lourdes started her involvement with Worker’s Formation Program in Hongkong. She worked with the workers until 1991, including being coordinator of Asian Workers Exchange, a response to the influx of migrant workers in Hongkong.  In 1991 she came to Maryknoll, NY to do congregational services in the communications department until 1994.

In 1995 Sister Lourdes, answered a called from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) to help rebuild the Church in Eastern Europe.  This mission took her to Korce, Albania teaching at Preca College.  She moved to Pogradec, Albania where she also taught, did pastoral work and home visits.   In 2002, Sister Lourdes left Albania and returned to Maryknoll, NY to give congregational service doing mission promotion.

In 2006 she returned to Albania and taught religious studies and English at the Lambertini School in Elbasan City and later did pastoral work with the St. Vincent de Paul in Gramsh.

In 2013-2019 was appointed a member of the Congregational Vocation Team, with residence in Baguio, Philippines.     In 2022 she and six other sisters started a new community they called Presence, based in Monrovia, CA and from there, in May 2023, opened a new mission presence in Moundou, T’Chad.

Funeral Services:

A Vespers Service will be held for Sister Lourdes on July 14, 2023 at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Moundou, T’Chad

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on July 15, 2023 at 12:30  P.M. local time at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Moundou, T’Chad.