Sister Barbara Anne Masterson, Maryknoll Sister for 71 Years Dies

Sister Barbara Anne Masterson died on July 3rd, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 89 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 71 years.

She was born in Syracuse, NY on August 20th, 1928 to Florence and Charles Masterson, both of whom are deceased. She has one brother, Charles Jr. and three sisters: Irene, Genevieve and Mary.

Barbara graduated from St. Michael’s Cathedral High School in Springfield, MA in 1946. She entered the Congregation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY from Holy Cross Parish, Springfield MA, in the diocese of Springfield. At her Reception she received the name Sister Rose Christelle. She made her First Profession of Vows on April 6th, 1949 and her Final Profession of Vows on April 6th, 1953 both at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.

From 1949 –1951, Sister Barbara studied at St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing in Hartford, CT. Her first assignment was to Bethany House, in Ossining, NY, caring for the Congregation’s infirm and elderly. Later she went to Monrovia, CA to serve at the tuberculosis hospital run by the Congregation. In 1959, she was assigned to Hawaii where she worked at the Maui Children’s Home in Paia and St. Anthony Convent in Wailuku. From 1968-1970, she studied at Mary Rogers College in Maryknoll, NY and received an Associate of Arts Degree. She then continued her studies at Brockport State University in Brockport, NY, earning her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in 1973.

In 1974, Sister Barbara Anne received her first overseas mission assignment to the Pando Vicariate, Bolivia. She worked as a nurse in the Riberalta Hospital, while studying the Spanish language. From 1975-1979, she worked in Cobija, Boliva doing public health with health promoters in the rural area. Later that year, she moved to Cochabamba, Bolivia and worked with CEVIFA: Archdiocesan Family Life Center until 1987.

Sister Barbara returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center where she gave service in the Congregational Health Service Department until 1991. She was then assigned back to Bolivia, to work with women and in health services at the Cochabamba’s Cristo Rey Parish until 2001; when she retired to Monrovia, CA. In 2008 she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York where she died peacefully on July 3, 2018.

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Barbara on Thursday, July 5, 2018 at 4:15 p.m. in the Main Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center

A Mass of the Resurrection will follow on Friday, July 6, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. also in the Main Chapel at the Center. Interment will follow in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.

Sister Mary Frances Kobets, Maryknoll Sister for 58 Years Dies

Sister Mary Frances (Fran) Kobets died suddenly on June 29th, 2018 in Gweru, Zimbabwe. She was 76 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 58 years. Fran was born on March 19th, 1942 in Kansas City, Missouri to Dolores (Gardner) Kobets and Godfrey S. Kobets. She had one brother, Thomas. Her parents have predeceased her.

Fran graduated from Loretto Academy in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1959.   She worked as a nurses’ aide at Menorah Hospital in Kansas City until she entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Valley Park, Missouri on December 30th, 1959.

At her Reception, she received the religious name Sister M. Frances Assisi. She made her First Profession of Vows in Valley Park, Missouri on August 22nd, 1962 and her Final Vows on June 24th, 1968, also in Valley Park.  From 1962-1963, she attended Maryknoll Teachers College in Maryknoll, New York; while studying she also worked in their Purchasing Department until 1966. Sister Fran, then attended Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas; where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture, Economics and Animal Husbandry in 1969. She was one of the first two women to receive this degree at the university.

Sister Fran’s first overseas assignment was to Makoko, Tanzania. She studied the Swahili language and worked at the Ministry of Agriculture Training Institute (MATIN) at Nyegezi in Mwanza; teaching agriculture and animal production from 1970 – 1978.

In 1978, she returned to the United States to attend Kansas State University once again; this time to earn a Masters of Science Degree in Applied Animal Science & Industry in 1980.

Sister Fran was then assigned to Zimbabwe in 1982. There, she taught Agriculture at the Teacher’s College, became Head of their Agriculture Department and Supervisor in their Farm and Production Unit from 1982-1989. Sister Fran spent the next 36 years in Zimbabwe working in various roles such as: agriculture, teaching, and supporting HIV/AIDS orphans. Together with Sister Patricia Startup, M.M. she founded the organization OEAS (Orphans Education and Agriculture Support) in 2001; which focuses on helping HIV/AIDS orphans and children at risk in the areas of Zimbabwe with the greatest needs.

On October 7, 2011 the Department of Agriculture Economics of Kansas State University presented her with The Distinguished Agricultural Economics Alumnus Award.

Sister Fran remained very active in her mission work in Zimbabwe with OEAS up until her death.

A memorial service will be held for Sister Fran at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY. Her internment was held in Gweru, Zimbabwe on July 2nd, 2018.

Sister Margaret A. Purtell, Maryknoll Sister for 66 Years Dies

Sister Margaret Anne Purtell died on June 25th, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 89 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 66 years.

Margaret was born in Brooklyn, NY on July 27th, 1928 to Marie R. (McNally) Purtell and Joseph A. Purtell.  She had one brother, Joseph and one sister, Marie. Her parents and sister have pre-deceased her.

 Margaret graduated from Bishop McDonnell Memorial High School in Brooklyn, NY in 1946; after graduation she worked as a clerk at the NY Telephone Co. in Brooklyn until 1951.

 She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate at the Venard in Clarks Summit, PA on September 6th, 1951 from her home parish, St. Therese of Lisieux, in Brooklyn.  At her Reception she received the religious name Sister Marie Joseph. She made her First Profession of Vows on March 7th, 1954 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center and her Final Vows on March 7th, 1960 in Kansas City, MO.

From 1954-1955, she attended Maryknoll Teachers College in Maryknoll, NY and St. Teresa’s College, in Winona, MN from 1955-1956; where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. In 1969, she received a Masters of Education Degree in Nursing Administration at Columbia Teachers College in New York City.

 In 1958, Sister Margaret was assigned to Queen of the World Hospital in Kansas City, MO; where she served as Operating Room Supervisor, Nursing Supervisor and Assistant Director of Nurses until 1963. She received her first overseas mission assignment to Korea in 1963 and studied the Korean language in Seoul. From 1964-1965 she was Nursing and Operating Room Supervisor and then Clinic Supervisor from 1965-1967 both in Pusan, Korea. She then moved to Taiwan to serve as Adviser to the National Taiwan University Hospital from 1969-1971.

Sister Margaret returned to the United States in 1971, where she worked in the Maryknoll Sisters Center’s Promotion and Mission Education Department. In 1973, she returned to Inchon, Korea, and took a refresher course of the language before returning to the Maryknoll Hospital in Pusan to serve as Supervisor of Nurses from 1974-1975.  In 1976, she moved to Seoul where she was involved in Justice and Peace work until 1979, when she returned to the United States for Congregational Service. From 1979-2011, Sister Margaret served in various roles at the Maryknoll Sisters Center: Health Care Nurse, Telephone Receptionist, Director of the Information Systems Office for ten years, Planned Giving Associate, and Coordinator of the Maryknoll Sisters Retreat House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island until her retirement in 2010.

 Vespers service will be held for Sister Margaret at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 28, 2018 in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.  The Mass of the Resurrection will follow on Friday, June 29, 2018 at 11:00 a.m., also in the Main Chapel at the Center. Interment will follow in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.