Sister Elizabeth Burns, Maryknoll Sister for 62 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Elizabeth Marie Burns, a member of the Maryknoll Sisters Eastern U.S. Region, died on April 14, 2018 in Wethersfield, CT.  She was 84 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 62 years.

She was born in Hartford, CT on December 15, 1933 to Elizabeth M. (Farreny) Burns and Perley G. Burns, both of whom are deceased; she had one sister and two brothers.  She is survived by her sister, Mary Ann and both brothers, William and John J.

Elizabeth, known to all as Betty, graduated from Mount Saint Joseph Academy in West Hartford, CT in 1951. She then studied at St. Francis School of Nursing where she received her R.N. in 1954.  On September 2nd, 1955, Betty entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining, NY from St. Augustine Parish, in the diocese of Hartford, CT.  At her Reception she received the religious name, Sister Maura Brigid.  She made her First Profession of Vows on June 24, 1958 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center and her Final Vows on June 24th, 1964 in Korea.

In 1958, Betty worked at the Maryknoll Society’s Seminary kitchen.  She was assigned to Pusan, Korea in 1959 where she worked as a nurse for the next eight years in the Maryknoll Hospital in Pusan.

She returned to the United States in 1967 and earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1970 and her Masters of Science in Community Health Nursing in 1972, all from Boston College.  In 1973, she transferred from the Korea Region to the Maryknoll Sisters Eastern U.S. Region, where she worked at the Connecticut State Health Department from 1973-2005.   She retired after a long career which included:  Hospital Inspector and Consultant, Chief of Licensure and Certification of Medical Facilities, Director of Hospital and Medical Care and finally Chief of Staff for the Department.  For her dedication to the well-being of patients confined to nursing homes in the State of Connecticut, she received the Distinguished Managerial Service Award.

In 2006, Sister Betty was invited by the Pastor of Incarnation Parish to become an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, while also volunteering her services to St. Francis Hospital Home Care/Hospice in Hartford, CT.  From 2008-2013, she became totally involved in pastoral ministry and conducting pastoral visits to the elderly, ill and homebound and led a “Small Christian Community” of women.

Sister Elizabeth died at St. Francis Hospital, Hartford CT.

The wake will be on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at Farley-Sullivan Funeral Home, Wethersfield, CT from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  A funeral Mass will be offered at the Church of the Incarnation, Wethersfield, CT on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.  Interment will follow immediately after the funeral at Mt. St. Benedict’s Cemetery, Bloomfield, CT.

Sister Theresa Mangiere, Maryknoll Sister for 70 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Maryknoll Sister, Sr. Theresa Mangieri, educator, counselor and social worker died on April 5th, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY after a short illness.  She was 90 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 70 years.

She was born on January 24th, 1928 in the Bronx, NY to Antoinette (Taverna) Mangieri and Louis Joseph Mangieri, she was baptized Theresa Barbara. She had one brother, Daniel and three sisters, Margaret, Carmela and Rosetta.  Her parents, brother, and sisters have all predeceased her.

In 1946, Theresa graduated from Walton High School in the Bronx, NY.  She attended Grace Institute in New York City for one year where she studied Accounting; while working as a clerk at the Boy Scouts of America also in New York City. She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate as a postulant at the Venard Junior Seminary at Clarke’s Summit, PA on September 6th, 1947 from St. Angela Merici Parish in the Bronx, NY.   At her Reception on March 7th, 1948 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center she received the Religious name, Sister M. John Francis.  She made her First Profession of Vows on March 7th, 1950 and her Final Vows on March 7th, 1953, both at the Maryknoll Sisters Center; during which time she served the community in various positions.

From 1953-1957, Sister Theresa studied at Maryknoll Teachers College where she earned a Bachelor of Education Degree. In 1958, she then studied Mission Theory at Fordham University in New York, NY, while teaching at St. Anthony of Padua Elementary School in the Bronx. That same year she received her first overseas mission assignment to the Philippine Islands.

From 1958-1977, Sister Theresa served in the Philippines in multiple places and positions which included: elementary school teacher, high school teacher and principal, college instructor, and consultant to a lay administrator. In 1968, she became Novice Mistress of the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Quezon City until 1971. From 1971-1977, she worked in various schools in Baguio and earned a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology at St. Louis University in Baguio on March 13th, 1977.

After serving 19 years in the Philippines, Sister Theresa returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York and was Coordinator of the Sisters Renewal Program from 1978-1981.  In 1982, she was assigned to Zimbabwe, Africa where she taught in St. Albert’s High School in Mt. Darwin and worked with women: lay and Religious, until 1987.  From 1988-1997, she became Administrator of Mwana Anokosha Home, a residence for unwed mothers in Harare.

In 1997, Sister Theresa returned to the United States and was assigned to the Eastern US Region and to Hendersonville, North Carolina where she worked as a Board Member of Mainstay, an ecumenical organization of volunteers who work to help and find shelter for battered women and their children.  She also helped with Interfaith Assistance Ministry which aids the poor of Hendersonville.

Sister Theresa then returned to the Maryknoll Sister Center in 2009 and served in the Congregation’s Development Department until 2014.  In 2015, Sister Theresa transferred to the Maryknoll Sisters Home Care Unit, where she remained until her death.

A Vespers Service will be held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 4:15 pm in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY.                                         

A  Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 11:00 A.M., also in the Chapel of the Annunciation.

Interment will follow at the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Maryknoll Center grounds.            

Sister Vivian Vortuba, Maryknoll Sister for 77 years dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Vivian Votruba died on March 22, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 98 years old and a Maryknoll Sister for 77 years.

Vivian was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on January 3, 1920 to Irma (Cosgrove) Votruba and August Votruba. She had two brothers, John and William, all have predeceased her.

In 1937, Vivian graduated from Villa Sancta Scholastica High School in Duluth, Minnesota. From 1937-1940, she attended the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN to begin the process of earning her Bachelor of Science Degree. On July 2, 1940 she entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Maryknoll, New York from St. Clement’s Parish, in the diocese of Duluth, MN.  At her Reception into the Congregation she retained her baptismal name of Vivian becoming Sister Mary Vivian. She made her First Profession of Vows on March 7, 1943 and her Final Profession of Vows on March 7, 1946.

From 1942-1943, Sister Vivian studied at Mount St. Vincent College in New York City and finished earning her Bachelor of Science Degree.  From 1943-1944, she attended classes at Maryknoll Teachers College in Maryknoll, New York.  She then went to Marquette School of Medicine in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she earned a Degree as a Doctor of Medicine in 1947. Sister Vivian spent the next year doing her medical internship at Misericordia Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 1948, Sister Vivian received her first overseas mission assignment to Bolivia where she did language study at CalaCala and began her medical ministry at the Maryknoll Hospital in Riberalta, Bolivia. For the next several years, Sister Vivian’s medical work took her to many places around the world: Azangaro, Peru in 1960; Biafra, in Nigeria, Africa, working with refugees in 1969; and back to Peru in Ica and Ciudad de Dios (outside of Lima) in 1970.

In 1982, Sister Vivian returned to Maryknoll, New York to serve in the Congregation’s Development Department’s World Awareness Program until 1985. She then served among the Navajo Indians in New Mexico before returning to Tacna, Peru in 1985. In 1991, Sister Vivian was assigned to Rosedale, Mississippi for three years to do pastoral work.  In 1995, she was assigned to Pogradec, Albania where she did medical and pastoral work, administrative work, and worked with women in need. In 1996, she was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters semi-retirement home in Monrovia, California where she did volunteer work.  In 2002, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, New York where she was an active volunteer doing clerical work in the Outpatient Clinic and accompanying elderly Sisters to their doctor’s visits.  From 2006-2008, Sister Vivian served as Co-Coordinator for the Chi-Rho Community at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Vivian on Monday, March 26, 2018 at 4:15 p.m. in the Main Chapel at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. A funeral Mass will follow on Tuesday, March 27, 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 Aiko Oyabu, Maryknoll Sister for 54 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Maryknoll Sister, Sr. Aiko Oyabu, died on March 11, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 84 years old and a Maryknoll Sister for 54 years.

Aiko was born in Amino, Takeno-Gun, Kyoto, Japan on October 28, 1933 to Wai (Mizukami) Oyabu and  Masuji Oyabu. She had five sisters, and two brothers. All have predeceased her except her sisters, Tomiko Nakajima, Mitsuyo Ikeda, and Harumi Yoshinari and her brothers, Magoshiro Oyabu and Hiroki Oyabu.

In 1952, Aiko graduated from St. Joseph Nissei High School, in Nishi Maizuru, Japan. She then attended Heian Junior College in Kyoto and graduated in 1954 with an Associate of Arts Degree.  Aiko then taught as a grade school teacher in a School at Novera, Kyoto for eight years before entering the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in the Philippine Islands on June 1, 1963.

At her Reception into the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation, Aiko received the religious name Sister Maria Assumpta.  She made her First Profession of Vows on March 16, 1966 in the Philippines. Then she was assigned to the Maryknoll Girls School in Yokkaichi, Japan to teach English and Christian Ethics in 1972. On January 2, 1972, she made her Final Vows in Japan and studied at Sophia University from 1973-1974. Sister Aiko then studied at Seisen Women’s College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature in 1977. Following graduation from Seisen she returned to teach in Yokkaichi until 1983 when she was assigned to Bolivia.

Sister Aiko’s ministry in Bolivia took her to Riberalta where she did pastoral work and helped form Basic Christian Communities from 1984 to 1987. She was then assigned to Capinota in the mountains of Bolivia and Cochabamba, where she was involved in formation of Basic Christian Communities, pastoral work, home visiting and youth work until 1992. In that year, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY where she worked in the Congregation’s Development Office until 1994. In 1995, she returned to Kyoto, Japan and Kamakura, working with immigrants from Bolivia and Peru and visiting Peruvians in prison until  1997. That same year she returned to Kyoto working with immigrants from Bolivia and Peru and with physically and mentally handicapped people until 2004.  In 2006, Sister Aiko retired to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York and joined the Chi Rho Community working as a volunteer, visiting the elderly and infirm Sisters.

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Aiko on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 4:15 p.m. in the Main Chapel at Maryknoll Sisters Center.  A Funeral Mass will follow on Thursday, March 15, 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 Joan Ratermann, Maryknoll Sister for 72 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Joan Ratermann died on February 1, 2018.  She was 91 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 72 years.

Joan was born on July 6, 1926 in St. Louis, MO to Katherine (Huelsmann) Ratermann and George Ratermann.  She had two sisters Mary and Elizabeth and two brothers, George (a Maryknoll Priest) and David Ratermann (Monsignor of the St. Louis Diocese). Her parents, two brothers and her sister, Mary have predeceased her.

Joan graduated from Notre Dame High School in St. Louis in 1944 and then worked in secretarial jobs for over a year.  She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation in Ossining, NY from St .Liborius Parish in St. Louis on September 6, 1945. At her reception into the Congregation she received the religious name Sister Vincent de Paul. She made her First Profession of Vows at the Maryknoll Sisters Center on March 7, 1948 and her Final Vows on March 7, 1951, also at the Sisters Center.  From 1947 – 1951, she attended Maryknoll Teachers College and earned a Bachelor of Education Degree; she then earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Guidance at St. Louis University from 1969 -1970.

In 1951, Sister Joan received her first overseas assignment to Chile, where she spent the next 53 years serving as primary school teacher, school principal, high school teacher, retreat director and spiritual counselor. In 1973, she began work with youth and adults as part of a retreat team and became advisor to prayer groups in the Talcahuano Parish, La Asunción. In 1974, she helped found a House of Prayer where 30 retreats a year were given. In 1980, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY to work in the Direct Mail office for three years.

Sister Joan then returned to Chile again in 1984, to do pastoral, catechetical and retreat work until 1999. In 2000, she joined the Jesuits’ Padre Hurtado Retreat House as a permanent member, doing 8 day retreats per year. In 2004, she was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center to work in the Development Department until 2010, when she retired.

A Wake and Vespers service will be held in the Annunciation Chapel of the Maryknoll Sisters Center at Maryknoll, NY on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 4:15 P.M.  Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. also in the Annunciation Chapel.    Interment will follow immediately after in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery.                                

Sister Madeline McHugh, Maryknoll Sisters for 78 Years Dies

 

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Madeline Cecilia McHugh, missioner, contemplative and educator died on January 16, 2018.  She was 97 years old and a Maryknoll Sister for 78 years.

She was born in Elizabeth, NJ on November 9, 1920 to Mary (Serafin) McHugh and Matthew McHugh. She had two brothers: John and Matthew, Jr. and four sisters: Clare, Mary, Rita and Rose, all have predeceased her.

Madeline graduated from Sacred Heart High School in Elizabeth, NJ in 1938.  After graduation from high school, she attended Battin Night School for seven months in 1938 -1939 receiving a Certificate in Shorthand and Typing.  She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Community in Maryknoll, NY from Blessed Sacrament Parish in Elizabeth, NJ on June 10, 1939.  At her reception into the Congregation, she received the religious name Sister Alma Therese and made her First Profession of Vows on January 6, 1942 and her Final Profession of Vows on January 6, 1945, both at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, in Maryknoll, NY. From 1941 to 1945, she obtained a Bachelor of Education Degree at Maryknoll Teachers College, in Maryknoll, NY.  After graduation she was assigned to Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii from 1945 -1961. She also attended a speech course at the University of Hawaii in 1950.  She taught second and fifth grade, shorthand and Art at St. Anthony’s School in Maui.

In 1961, Sister Madeline returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY where she served as Vocation Department Secretary until 1965 and then as Vocation Director until 1968. In 1968, she attended Iona College where she obtained a Certificate in Theology.  She was assigned to Guatemala City, Guatemala where she did language study from November until March, 1969.  She then moved to Huehuetenango, Guatemala where she did pastoral work with women. In October, 1969 she moved to Balboa in the Panama Canal Zone to teach Religion, English and Typing in secondary school and Music in primary school.

In January, 1972 Sister Madeline joined the Maryknoll Sisters Cloister Community where she worked as a secretary as well as in the kitchen and the Altar Bread Department.  In March, 1979 she obtained permission to live an eremitical life at Nazareth Hermitage in Ava, Missouri for one year, after which she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Cloister in Maryknoll, NY; where she again lived the eremitical life from June 1981 to 1986.

In March 1986, she and Maryknoll Sister, Sr. Theresa Baldini left for Cairo, Egypt for Arabic Studies for six months before proceeding to Juba in the South Sudan where they set-up a contemplative community.  In May 1991, the two Sisters went to the town of Torit, but were forced to leave in May, 1992 because of war.  From 1992 to 2000, Sister Madeline returned to the Maryknoll Cloister in Maryknoll, NY where she prepared an office book with inclusive language, worked on Cloister archives and was Director of Music. In 2000, the two Sisters again returned to the South Sudan to the town of Narus where they set-up a prayer ministry. In 2010, they returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Cloister Community, now known as the Maryknoll Sisters Contemplative Community in Maryknoll, New York where Sister Madeline died. Sister Madeline has willed her body to Medical Science.

Prayers and Sharing of memories will be held for Sister Madeline on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at Maryknoll Sisters Center.   The Memorial Mass will follow at 11:00 a.m. also in the Main Chapel at the Sisters Center .

Sister Eileen Franz, Maryknoll Sister for 67 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Eileen Franz died on November 5, 2017 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, in Maryknoll, NY. She was 89 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 67 years. She was born in Jersey City, NJ on December 3, 1927 to Margaret (Hennessy) Franz and Charles J. Franz, Jr. She has one sister, Regina and one brother, John. Both of her parents have predeceased her, she is survived by both of her siblings.

In 1945, Eileen graduated from St. Dominic’s Academy, in Jersey City, NJ. After graduation she worked for three months at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company before attending St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing, in Jersey City where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in 1948. She then worked as a nurse in St. Francis Hospital from 1948 to 1950. Eileen then joined the Public Health Nursing Service of Jersey City from March to August, in 1950. In 1973, she earned a Nursing Refresher Certificate at Mt. Sinai Hospital, in NYC and a Nursing Techniques Refresher Certificate from Pace University, in Pleasantville, NY in 1979.

Eileen entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. on September 6, 1950 from St. Joseph’s Parish, in Oradell, NJ.  At her Reception of the Habit, she received the religious name Sister Marea Consuela.   She made her First Profession of Vows on March 7, 1953 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.

In 1953, Sister Eileen was assigned to Taiwan where she studied Mandarin and the Hakka languages.  In 1956, she was briefly sent to Hong Kong to work in the Sisters Vestment Department at the Maryknoll Sisters Boundary Street Convent and study Cantonese. Sister Eileen made her Final Profession of Vows on March 7, 1959 in Taiwan.  From 1957-1967, she did catechetical work and assisted the sick in the parishes of Tahu, Miaoli and Towfen.

In 1968, Sister Eileen was assigned to Hong Kong and worked at Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital in Kowloon until 1971; she then returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll NY. There she served in many different Departments at the Center up until her last days: the Wellness Center (out patient care), the Library, the nursing Home, and the Treasury Dept.

A Vespers service will be held on November 8, 2017 at 4:15 p.m. at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, in Maryknoll, NY.  A funeral Mass will follow on November 9, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. also at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. Interment will follow in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.

 

Sister Eileen Franz-Memorial Video from Maryknoll Sisters on Vimeo.

Sister Mary Louise Teufel, Maryknoll Sister for 63 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Mary Lou Teufel, missioner, educator and peace and justice activist died on September 29, 2017. She was 94 years old and a Maryknoll Sister for 63 years.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio on December 19, 1922 to Mary (Gosink) Teufel and Anthony L. Teufel, she had two brothers, Richard A. and John M. and three sisters: Rita, Clare and Catherine, all of whom have predeceased her.

Mary Lou graduated from Our Lady of Angels High School in St. Bernard, Ohio in June 1940.  After graduation she attended the University of Cincinnati but transferred to the University of Minnesota in 1943 where she obtained a Certificate in Aeronautical Engineering. In 1944-1946 she attended Ohio State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1945 and from September 1945 to June 1946 a Bachelor of Science in Education. From September 1967 to August 1968 she attended the University of Illinois and obtained a Masters of Arts in Education, majoring in Mathematics. During these years her work experience was quite varied: from 1944 to 1946 she was a Flight Research Assistant at Curtiss-Wright Aircraft Corporation in Columbus, OH; from 1946 to 1948 she taught high school Mathematics and History in Lykens, OH and then was Recreation Director in the Department of Army Special Services (USO) in Japan and Korea from 1948 to 1952.

Mary Lou entered the Maryknoll Sisters’ Novitiate at Valley Park, MO from St. Clare’s Parish in Cincinnati, OH  on February 2, 1954.  At her Reception she received the religious name Sister Maryam and made her First Profession of Vows on September 8, 1956 at Valley Park, MO. Her Final Profession was made in Hong Kong on September 8, 1962.

Her first assignment overseas was to Maryknoll Sisters School in Hong Kong where she taught from 1957 to 1970. On November 13, 1970 she was elected to the Maryknoll Sisters Central Governing Board at Maryknoll, NY where she served until February 2, 1975.  From April 1975 to April 1976 she was involved in a special assignment to Manila in the Philippines aiding in the transfer of the Administration of Maryknoll College from the Maryknoll Sisters to a Lay Foundation and administration.   At this time the name of the college was changed to Miriam College.  Following this she returned to Hong Kong where she worked in the Business Office of Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital from 1976 to 1982 and was a member of the Governing Board of the same hospital from 1976 to 1999.  During this time she served as Associate Director of the Asia Center for the Progress of Peoples in Hong Kong from 1983 to 1999; as well as Editor of the Center’s Publication, ASIALINK.  She was Maryknoll Advisor to the Alumnae Association of the Maryknoll Sisters Secondary School in Hong Kong from 1976 to 1999.

In October 1999 Sister Mary Lou was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center at Maryknoll, NY where she joined the “Chi Rho” Community and was actively involved in Prayer Ministry for the Hong Kong Macau Region.  In 2010 due to need of greater health care, she joined the Maryknoll Sisters Residential Care Unit where she died accompanied by her niece, Margie Kuntz, and many of her Maryknoll Sisters.

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Mary Lou on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 4:15 p.m. at Maryknoll Sisters Center.  A Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Friday, October 6, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. also at the Sisters Center.

Sister_Mary_Louise_Teufel-memorial_video_480p from Maryknoll Sisters on Vimeo.

Sister Jean Pruitt, Maryknoll Sister for 58 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Jean Pruitt died suddenly on September 10, 2017 while on mission in Tanzania. She was 77 years old and a Maryknoll Sister for 58 years.

Jean was born in Detroit, Michigan on October 17, 1939 to Beatrice (Johnston) Pruitt and Dorcie Pruitt. She had two brothers: Harry and Joseph and four sisters: Mary, Margaret, Beatrice, and Donna. She is survived by: Harry, Joseph, Mary, and Margaret. Her parents and two of her sisters Beatrice and Donna have predeceased her.

In 1957, Jean graduated from Bishop Conaty High School in Los Angeles, California. She then entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation in Valley Park, Missouri on December 30, 1958 from Santa Ana, Ascension Parish in Los Angeles, California. From 1959-1967, she attended Mary Rogers College in Maryknoll, New York where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. While attending Mary Rogers College, she made her First Profession of Vows on August 22, 1961 at the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Valley Park, Missouri. From 1967-1969, she attended the University of Buffalo in Buffalo, New York where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. While attending Buffalo University, she made her Final Profession of Vows on August 22, 1967 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, New York.

For the past 49 years, Sister Jean has devoted her life to her mission in Tanzania working on several projects and ministries, with a main focus on art ministry and the well being of impoverished youth. In 1968, Sister Jean received her first overseas assignment to Africa, where she studied Kiswahili for one year in Makoko and worked as the Liaison Officer for Catholic Relief Services nutrition program in Dar Es Salaam. From 1972-1993, Sister Jean worked at Nyumba ya Sanaa-Craftsperson Coop, where she was an advocate for fair tax laws for craftpersons. This program began with three people and ended up employing more than 150 youth artisans and artists. In addition to working at the Craftsperson Coop, Sister Jean worked in the first paper mill in Sub Saharan Africa (Nyumba ya Sanaa-Handmade Paper Mill), where she was an advocate for youth involvement in this small scale industry from 1979-1983.

In 1981, Sister Jean and several youth artists pooled their resources together and opened a small artist’s shop called Nyumba Ya Sanaa (House of Art) Center. Sister Jean designed and supervised the entire construction of the center; it has held more than 15 exhibitions of artists in eight different countries. In 1983, Sister Jean received a national award from the President of Tanzania for her contribution to the development of small-scale industry in Tanzania. At that time, she became one of the founding members of Amnesty International of Tanzania. From 1988-1992, while working at the House of Art Center, Sister Jean directed human resource activities for TAMOFA (Tanzania Mozambique Friendship Association) in Southern Tanzania for 100,000 Mozambique refugees. She also initiated the Friendship Ferry Project between Mozambique and Tanzania and advocated for Mozambique refugees with the Ministry of Home Affairs in Tanzania.

Since arriving in Tanzania, Sister Jean has always worked hard for children rights advocacy. She passionately believed that poverty reduction begins with children, especially the most excluded and invisible who are children living on the streets. From 1992-2017, Sister Jean has been working on her Nyumba ya Sanaa’s Street Children Project-Dogodogo Center. Sister Jean founded the center with her vision to give homeless kids a chance at something more than what they see on dirt roads and pavement. The center serves to raise funds for services to street children and offers medical care, counseling, family reunification services, and classes in basic skills. It also offers vocational training in the arts including: arts and crafts, painting, clay, wood, and metal sculpture.

Since 2001, Sister Jean had been working on a Global Network of Religions for Children in Africa (GNRC). This peace building project is part of a global network that is sponsored by the Arigatou Foundation in Japan. It runs a vibrant peace building program addressing the issues of children and their right to peace.

Sister Jean was called home to God on September 10, 2017, up until her last breath she remained very active on her mission in Tanzania with impoverished youth.

Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday September 20th in Tanzania. Memorial services will begin at 10:30am at Karimje Hall, organized be the Ministry of Culture, Art and Sports; the cremation will follow.

 

Memorial Video-Sister Jean Pruitt from Maryknoll Sisters on Vimeo.

Sister Anita Smith, Maryknoll Sister for almost 70 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Anita M. Smith died on September 4, 2017 at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, Connecticut. She was 92 years old and a Maryknoll Sister for almost 70 years.

Anita was born in Hartford, Connecticut on May 28, 1925 to Anna (Relihan) Smith and John J. Smith. She had one brother, also John J. and five sisters: Frances, Jean, Rosemary, all of whom have predeceased her, and her remaining sisters, Mary and Kathryn.

In 1943, Anita graduated from Vincentian Institute, in Albany, New York. She then attended St. Joseph’s College in West Hartford, Connecticut from 1943 –1947, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business/Economics. Then she entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation in Maryknoll, New York from St. Augustine Parish in Hartford, Connecticut.

She made her First Profession of Vows on March 7, 1950 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, New York. That same year, she was assigned to Waialua, Hawaii where she taught 5th and 6th grade. While on mission in Hawaii, she made her Final Profession of Vows on March 7, 1953.

In 1959, Sister Anita was assigned to Punahou, Hawaii to teach 8th grade in the Maryknoll Grade School. She returned to the Connecticut in 1971 to study at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut and earned a Masters degree in Education Administration. She then returned to Honolulu, Hawaii after graduation to serve as Principal of Maryknoll Grade School until 1980. In 1981, Sister Anita returned to West Hartford, Connecticut to study at St. Joseph College, where she earned a second Masters degree in Pastoral Ministry.

From 1982 –1983, she did field work in a poor sections of Hartford, Connecticut and in New York City; she also taught Confirmation classes in her local parish. In 1984, Sister Anita returned to Hawaii to do Pastoral work in Kona at the Immaculate Conception Parish. In 1990, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center where she worked in the Congregation’s Office of Congregational and Lay Personnel Employees until 1993. From 1993 – 1997, she joined a community of semi-retired Maryknoll Sisters in Waterbury, Connecticut where they did volunteer work. In 1998, she transferred to the Congregation’s Eastern U.S Region and moved to Marlborough, Connecticut to serve in Family Ministry until 2006 and Family Childcare in Wethersfield, Connecticut until December, 2007. She then worked as school librarian at Covenant Preparatory Academy in Hartford, Connecticut from 2008-2014. 

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Anita on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 4:15 p.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. 

A Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Friday, September 8, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. also in the Main Chapel at the Maryknoll Sisters Center followed by interment at the Sisters cemetery.