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

Sister Marilyn Ingraham, M.M. celebrated her 70th Jubilee on February 12th, 2017. Sister Marilyn Ingraham has been a Maryknoll Sister for nearly 70 years.  The seeds for her life of service were planted many years before that, however, while she was yet a teenager.

When Sister Marilyn was only 13, her mother died in childbirth, leaving her husband to care for their brood of 10 children by himself.  Sister Marilyn’s only sister, Jean, helped with the cooking.  A while later, while reading stories about the lives of the saints, Sister Marilyn began thinking about a religious vocation. She found their lives of doing good and helping others an inspiration and thought she might become a nun, but she wanted to be a nun who had fun.

Her vocation began to solidify when, as part of her high school religious studies, she read Maryknoll Magazine. Even though she had never met a Maryknoll sister, she decided to join.

Sister Marilyn’s novitiate began at the Venard, a farmhouse in Pennsylvania where the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers operated a junior seminary.  There she and other Maryknoll Sisters helped out by cooking and cleaning for the seminarians.

As the taking of her final vows at Maryknoll approached in 1953, Sister Marilyn began dreaming of being sent overseas to the Philippines, China or Japan.  God, apparently, had other plans, because for the next two years, she taught first and second grade children in St. Louis, MO.

Then, in 1954, her call to foreign mission came. She was headed not to Asia but to South America, where she taught elementary school children in Peru from 1959-1969, then taught developmentally disabled children in Bolvia from 1969-1971.

Sister Marilyn then returned to the United States, teaching in Hatch, NM from 1972-1973, in San Diego, CA, from 1973-1974, and in Brockton, MA, from 1974-1984.

Then it was back, albeit briefly, to Bolivia, where she served as coordinator of Casa Rosario, the Maryknoll Sisters House for a summer, before embarking on four years of teaching in the Providence, RI, public schools.  Later, she taught and tutored Hispanic children at Holy Trinity Parish, Brooklyn, NY, from 1992-1997, also helping some students with their immigration problems from time to time.

Sister Marilyn now resides with several other Maryknoll Sisters in Yonkers, NY, and participates in the Maryknoll Affiliates NYC Subway group. She also dabbles in watercolor painting, volunteers at Maryknoll Home Care and, driven by a long-held commitment to peace and justice, write to Congress and other regarding social justice issues.


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.


60th Jubilee-Sister Peggy Lipsio, M.M.

Sister Peggy Lipsio, M.M. celebrated her 60th Jubilee on February 12th, 2017. She is from New Rochelle, NY and entered Maryknoll in 1957. Assigned to Chile in 1965, she studied Spanish in Pucón and moved to Talca, living among the poor, sharing their lives and their poverty. She did pastoral work, visiting people in their homes and giving Christian formation programs for married couples, as well as attending the parish clinic mornings to give injections. After ten years, she reluctantly left Chile and the people, expelled under General Pinochet’s notorious regime of violence and repression. She had risked her own life to save another.

Back in the States, Sister Peggy earned her nursing degree and in 1980, went to Thailand in response to Catholic Relief Services appeal for volunteer nurses to help in Cambodian refugee camps. She supervised a maternal child health program for a poulation of 40,000 and, understanding what life is in violent situations, took time to listen to their stories.

Assigned to the Eastern U.S. Region in 1983, she began more than a decade in Rochester, NY as a Public Health Nurse for the Monroe County Health Department, first as a Home Health Nurse, the only Spanish-speaking nurse in her division, a blessing to her many Hispanic clients. She was also a maternal/child care nurse and worked in the TB clinic.

Presently she lives in North Carolina, again sharing her skills and experience as a Henderson County Public Health Nurse, ministering to pregnant Hispanic women. She works with a Physician’s Assistant to provide physical, social and educational help to these women. Her language fluency is a great asset as she visits the trailer parks and low income housing in the county. As a volunteer nurse with the American Red Cross, she rushed to Natchitoches, Louisiana in response to the hurricane devastation of the gulf coast, helping in a shelter for more than 600 people.

70th Jubilee-Sister Nancy Thomas, M.M.

Sister Nancy Thomas, M.M. celebrated her 70th Jubilee on February 12th, 2017.

Nancy ThomasSister Nancy is a member of Women in Black, a protest movement that circles the globe, including many cities in the U.S., to be united with women who suffer the effects of war and violence. They hold protest demonstrations every week for one hour on one of the busiest streets of Gilroy, California where Sister Nancy joins them dressed in black a symbol of their mourning and protest. She is also a volunteer with Emergency Housing Consortium of Santa Clara Valley, serving in the Emergency Shelter in Gilroy. The homeless are housed in the National Guard Armory from November until March from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., receive supper and breakfast, take showers, relax. She is a member of the task force for building a permanent Shelter, put on hold because of the economic crisis. Until recently Sister Nancy also worked with Community Solutions, advocating for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, accompanying the survivor to the hospital and courts. From June, 2005 to 2009, she served on the Maryknoll Sisters Western U.S. Regional Leadership Team. Assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Western U.S. Region, she began as a CCD Coordinator and Director of Religious Education in 1981.

Born in Washington D.C., Sister Nancy entered Maryknoll in 1947 and was assigned to Hawaii in 1952 where she taught in elementary school and served as principal for two decades. She was named the Director of the Promotion Office for mission education and fund raising at Maryknoll, NY. Assigned to Bolivia in 1975, she worked in the Rural Pastoral Institute in Riberalta, Pando Vicariate. In Cristo Rey parish, Cochabamba, she continued pastoral work in a poor barrio.


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.

60th Jubilee Rachel Kunkler, M.M.

Sister Rachel Kunkler, M.M. celebrated her 60th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12th, 2017. Sister Rachel Kunkler with a group of youth in Tanzania who named themselves “Chapa Kazi” which literally means “Hard Work.” Another free translation would be “hit the deck” or “get the job done!”

For the past forty-three years Sister Rachel has lived in Tanzania, East Africa. She is definitely a multi-task person and presently, along with Sister Noreen McCarthy, is a consultant for women and youth groups in rural and urban Iringa Region where they arrived almost twenty years ago and initiated the “Chapa Kazi” group. Presently the Sisters are consultants for women and youth groups on alternative energy – solar lighting and windmill water pumps; business and marketing skills for economic projects. They do HIV/AIDS counseling and prepare young, economically poor women for secondary and post secondary education, which includes tutoring, getting scholarships, and keeping contact while they are away at school.

It is easy to understand why in 1995, the President of Tanzania honored the Sisters with an award issued by the Ministry of Labour and Youth Development for their work in the Iringa Region. They had worked with seven groups in four districts.

Their original Chapa Kazi group eventually built eight houses for themselves plus a kindergarten and day care center. They also sent a young woman away to study and how to teach in their kindergarten. These young people are a mixture of religions, Catholic, Lutheran and Muslim as well as a mixture of tribes, Wabena and Wakinga. Sister Rachel said, “They kept reminding us that we had once mentioned solar lighting….they work hard and they keep us working hard!”

Sister Rachel entered the Maryknoll Sisters in 1957 from Loogootee, Indiana. She was in pre-medical studies in St. Mary of the Woods College. In Maryknoll, Sister Rachel finished those studies at  Mt .St. Vincent’s earning a B.S. in Biology. After language study in Tanzania, Sister Rachel taught biology, chemistry and other subjects for nine years in three secondary schools. When her students were coming back to teach, Sister Rachel changed her teaching to lay leadership training for small Christian communities in the Arusha diocese. For twelve years the Sisters visited all the parishes and over two thousand leaders were trained in the Center. At the same time they had a small farm with ten young people working in animal husbandry which helped make the Center self-reliant. They were able to turn this Center over to Tanzanian Sisters from Kilimanjaro and respond to the government invitation to work in the Iringa Region.

Sister Rachel was a delegate to four General Assemblies of the Maryknoll Sisters as well as serving full time one year as the Regional Research and Planning Coordinator for the Tanzania Maryknoll Sisters. In 2008 she celebrated her Golden Jubilee, fifty years of giving her life for others, stretching her imagination and talent to meet urgent needs in mission.

Sisters Rachel and Noreen take their turns staffing the house of hospitality in Nairobi, Kenya for Maryknoll Sisters in Africa for retreats, meetings, medical care, etc. However, they will be in daily contact by cell phone with the folks in Iringa and will go back every two months for a week or so.


70th Jubilee-Sister Pat Noble, M.M.

Sister Pat Noble, M.M. celebrated her 70th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12th, 2017. She was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, entered Maryknoll in 1947 with a B.A. in English from Villa Maria.  In 1950, Sister Pat received her first mission assignment to Hawaii, where she would spend the next eleven years dedicated to teaching Middle and High School English.

Sister Pat next shifted her educational ministry to the College level and to the Philippines, where she spent the next four years as a Professor of English Literature.  On her temporary return to the U.S., Sister Pat earned her Masters in English Literature at St. Louis University before embarking again on educational ministry in the Philippines.

In 1972, Sister Pat offered nine years of Congregational Service in Supportive Services, Data Processing, and Central Service Education at the Maryknoll Center.  Sister Pat was assigned as the Rogers Library Administrator and later the official Librarian, after she received her Master of Library Science Degree from the Pratt Institute in 1982.

Five years later, Sister Pat joined Maryknoll’s retirement community in Monrovia, California, where she volunteered at the County Arboretum.  Sister Pat was also cited for the extensive service she gave to the Peace and Justice Center of Southern California in the organization of their library collection.

Since 2006, she has been an active and prayerful member of the Rogers Community at the Maryknoll Center.


60th Jubilee-Sister Susan Gubbins, M.M.

Sister Susan Gubbins, M.M. celebrated her 60th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12th, 2017. She was born in Evergreen Park, IL. She entered the Maryknoll Sisters in 1957. Sister Susan received a B.A. in Sociology in 1967 from St. Catherine’s, St. Paul, MN. That same year she was assigned to Hong Kong where she was Coordinator of the Group & Community Dept. of Caritas-Hong Kong as well as supervising youth activities in a Catholic Welfare Center.

In 1974, Sister Susan received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Chicago and was assigned to Indonesia in 1975 where she set up a community based health program; was a consultant for social work in Bandung hospitals and eventually a teacher in the National School for Social Welfare. As always, Sister Susan made friends everywhere and especially in her own neighborhood of Muslim families.

Sister Susan assisted at a program in Rome in 1980 geared to Christians for a better understanding of Muslims.

In 1991, Sister Sue Gubbins and four other Maryknoll Sisters opened a new mission in East Timor, an island in the Indonesian archipelago. They were invited to East Timor by Bishop Carlos Belo of Dili.  On Mardi Gras they arrived in the mountain parish of Aileu, with 18 villages, the first Sisters ever assigned to that parish. Slowly they got to know the people and their language and the many basic needs as they began their pastoral work.

As Sister Susan learned of the many people unable to walk, she and other trained technicians opened a shop for making special shoes and braces, run a profit-sharing basis among the workers.

In 1999, the Maryknoll Sisters had to evacuate East Timor and boarded the last plane to Australia.  While in Australia for six weeks, the Sisters worked with Timorese refugees. When the Sisters returned to Aileu, they found that the shop for shoes and braces, the community based clinic, the school, and their home were destroyed. Their comment: “We were exactly where we had started out with, nothing.”

When Sister Susan returned to East Timor from the States, she had a 20 hour plane ride to Australia. Probably as a result of that very long flight Sister Sue suffered aneurisms that resulted in extensive debilitation and only after months of physical therapy was she able to return to East Timor.

With help from friends in the States, Sister Sue started to rebuild the shop for aiding those with special needs for shoes and braces.




60th Jubilee-Sister Rita Keegan, M.M.

Sister Rita Keegan, M.M. celebrated her 60th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12th, 2017. Sister Rita Keegan’s good humor, optimism and “can do” spirit and her gifts of personal rapport and group facilitation have marked her leadership in the Maryknoll Congregation and in all her ministries in the U.S. and Bolivia.

Sister Rita lives in an economically depressed area in Oregon. She is a counselor/therapist at Four rivers Free Clinic and in the State Correctional Facility with individuals and groups in the infirmary for the severely mentally ill. Her work in Head Start is with Spanish-speaking families, mostly mothers and children individulally and in groups. She was a volunteer on the board of the Alcohol Recovery Center and continues as a sponsor for several in the AA Twelve Step Program. She collaborates on retreat events, mostly in the AA program. She also has private clients for counseling/spiritual direction.

Sister Rita hails from Richland Center, WI, and entered Maryknoll in 1957. Her first assignment was in the South Bronx, NY, where she taught at St. Anthony’s School. After five years, she was sent to Bolivia where she taught and later worked in a resettlement project in the jungle where several thousand peole were  forced from their homes by floods. In what had been nothing but forest and jungle, she helped inaugurate two colonies, Hardeman and Piray, a pastoral and community project sponsored by the joint efforts  of Catholic, Methodist and Mennonite churches administering an orientation program for the new colonists, mostly indigenous people. After 12 years, she moved from the jungle to charamoco in the mountainous area around Cochabamba and was part of a pastoral team who ministered to 36 small villages of Quechua Indians. Integration of community and human development were their priorities.

She served for three years as Congregational Personnel Director and on her regional leadership teams several times, as well as facilitating meetings for other regions and groups.

70th Jubilee-Sister Patricia Maher, M.M.

Sister Patricia Maher, M.M. celebrated her 70th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12th, 2017. She was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Sister Patricia Maher entered Maryknoll in 1947. After earning her Bachelor of Education at Maryknoll Teachers College, she set out for the Philippines, where she taught for eight years at the high school high level, followed by five years as principal and head of teacher training.

Then, in the late 1960’s, Sister Pat returned to the U.S. to serve first as the Director of Community Roles at the Presbyterian University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and later as the Director of the Maryknoll Center Development Department.

In 1974, Sister Pat began her new mission to El Salvador, where, in addition to youth work with the Urban Leadership Training Center, she dedicated herself to extensive pastoral service among the poor. As she worked, however, Sister Pat quickly recognized the significant and dangerous nature of her mission. El Salvador’s current regime considered any gatherings highly suspicious, and this rendered human development work, even reading and writing instruction, difficult at best. Sister Pat found herself serving a people constantly terrorized by the American-backed government. In response to the desperate urgency for change, which was everywhere apparent, Sister Patricia worked fearlessly to bring the people’s terrible situation – and America’s responsibility – to light, on her return from El Salvador. Her words were punctuated by the shocking martyrdom of her Maryknoll replacement there in 1980.

Sister Pat spent the next twelve years working in the Harrisburg Diocese, serving its families and Spanish-speaking members. She then continued her missionary work for another twelve years in Bangledesh, Bolivia, and the Arlington Diocese, where she ministered to the Spanish-speaking population until her retirement in 2008 in Monorovia, California.  She is currently residing at the Maryknoll Sister Center.