Mission Sending Ceremony for Sister Mara Rutten Slated for November 22

Rutten, Mara 2014 smlMaryknoll, NY  —  Newest Maryknoll Sister Mara Rutten, a graduate of Arizona State University, Tempe, who received her call to religious life while a parishioner at Most Holy Trinity Parish, Tucson, will be formally sent to work in Cambodia at a special sending ceremony to be held at 10:30 a.m., Sunday, November 22, 2015, at Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY.

A growing passion and involvement in social justice issues, coupled with a vibrant faith and desire to help the poor, led 43-year-old Sister to make the choice for religious life, one that is becoming increasingly rare.

A 2000 graduate of Arizona State University, Tempe, with a doctorate in philosophy, Ms. Rutten, who also holds a master’s degree from South Illinois Univeristy, Carbondale (1996), and a bachelor’s degree from University of Minnesota, Morris (1994), recently completed her candidacy as a Maryknoll Sister in Chicago, IL, where she attended Catholic Theological Union and completed other preparatory programs required by the congregation.

Mara first sensed a tug toward a life of service while an active member of Most Holy Trinity Parish, Tucson, AZ.  There she participated in “Just Faith,” a program which builds awareness of social justice issues in its participants and gives Catholics opportunities to meet the needs of struggling people in their local areas and beyond.  These experiences sparked Mara’s enthusiasm for mission work, leading her to contact the Maryknoll Sisters.

Partnering as a lay woman with Maryknoll Sisters, Mara worked with them among the poor and underprivileged in Cambodia. This association led her to seek membership in the congregation.  In her request to be considered, Mara wrote, “I have admired the Maryknoll Sisters since I was a little girl and first heard about them through the atrocities in El Salvador.  From that time forward, that is what I thought of when I thought about love: to go where you were needed but not always wanted, to refuse to abandon those whom you had come to love despite physical danger, and to serve God all the while. Through the Maryknoll family, I believe I have found the best avenue to give and receive love.”

Founded in 1912, Maryknoll Sisters is the first US-based congregation of women religious dedicated to foreign mission. Working primarily among the poor and marginalized in 24 countries around the world, they now number nearly 430 members from both the US and overseas.

Maryknoll Sisters to Mark 35th Anniversary of El Salvador Martyrs’ Deaths

35th Anniversary- Martyrdom in El Salvador (2)

Maryknoll, NY  —  Thirty-five years ago, four Churchwomen, two of them Maryknoll Sisters, joined the ranks of some 70,000 people in El Salvador slaughtered by their own militia during that nation’s civil war.  Maryknoll Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke, along with Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel and lay missioner Jean Donovan, were killed on a roadside, then buried in a shallow grave, on December 2, 1980.

These women, along with the more than 70,000 others who perished during that war, will be remembered and honored at a Mass to be broadcast via livestream from the Main Chapel at Maryknoll Sisters Center, 10 Pinesbridge Road, Ossining, NY, on Sunday, November 29, 2015, at 10:30 a.m.  The broadcast can be viewed at www.maryknollsisters.org/livestream.

Members of the public interested in honoring the women are invited to attend a special vespers service, also being held at the Center’s Main Chapel, on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, at 7 p.m. in the evening.

The two celebrations are part of a five-week-long celebration of the lives of these four courageous women, which includes five weeks of social media on the congregation’s Facebook page and Twitter newsfeeds throughout the month of November.

Founded in 1912, Maryknoll Sisters is the first US-based congregation of women religious dedicated to foreign mission. Working primarily among the poor and marginalized in 24 countries around the world, they now number nearly 430 members from both the US and overseas.

Maryknoll Sisters International Bazaar Slated for October 24

Phillips,-Helen-at-Peru-booth-Bazaar-2014MARYKNOLL, NY —  Maryknoll Sisters will hold their annual International Bazaar on Saturday, October 24, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, 10 Pinesbridge Rd., Ossining, NY.

Featuring handicrafts from our mission sites, including Asia, Africa, Central and South America,  as well as the Sisters themselves, the bazaar serves as a fundraiser supporting the Sisters and their humanitarian efforts around the world.  It’s also an opportunity for local residents to get some of their Christmas shopping done early.

Pictured is Sister Helen Phillips, manager of the congregation’s Photo Library, showing off some of our gifts from Peru.

A free event, open to the public, the bazaar will also feature reproductions of fine Christian art, created by Sister Marie Pierre Semler, MM, as well as several raffles.

Bring your family and friends and shop early for Christmas and the holidays! For directions or other information, call 914-941-7575 or go to: www.maryknollsisters.org

Founded in 1912, Maryknoll Sisters is the first US-based congregation of women religious dedicated to foreign mission. Working primarily among the poor and marginalized in 24 countries around the world, they now number nearly 430 members from both the US and overseas.

Maryknoll Sisters get new convent windows-News 12

The Maryknoll nuns personally sent thank you letters to everyone who donated money for their new windows. (9/2/15)

OSSINING – The Maryknoll Sisters in Ossining are counting their blessings after receiving hundreds of new windows for their nearly 100-year-old convent.

About 400 windows in the 92-year-old convent were more than six decades old.

They were impossible for the elderly sisters to open and close.  Sister Jeanne Houlihan says that in the winter, the building often felt like being trapped in the middle of a polar vortex.

Last July, the sisters went public about their desperate need for windows. Two months later, they raised $400,000 from 5,000 donors.

The Maryknoll nuns personally sent thank you letters to everyone who donated money for their new windows.

There are about 200 retired nuns living at the Maryknoll motherhouse.

Woman with Passion for Her Faith and Social Justice Becomes Newest Maryknoll Sister

 Rutten, Mara, Receives Chi-Ro Ring from Maryknoll Sisters President, Sr Antoinette GutzlerMaryknoll, NY  —   One woman’s passion for social justice and her faith, cultivated by involvement in her local parish’s “Just Faith” program, pilgrimages to Guatemala and El Salvador, and living with Maryknoll Sisters in Cambodia, bore permanent fruit in her life this past Sunday, August 24, 2015, when she took her First Vows, becoming the newest Maryknoll Sister of St. Dominic.

Austin, MN-born Mara Darleen Rutten made her vows at a Mass celebrated at Annunciation Chapel, Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY, by Father Bill Remmel, a priest of the Society of the Divine Savior who served as pastor of Most Holy Trinity Parish, Tucson, AZ, where Sister Mara participated in “Just Faith, ” a program designed to encourage personal then social transformation through their faith, that would lead her into her life’s call.  Now retired, Father Bill, who marched for civil rights while yet a young seminarian in the 1960s, “has been very instrumental in many of Mara’s journeys,” noted Sister Teruko Ito, a member of the Maryknoll Sisters Congregational Leadership Team in her opening remarks, adding that he remained active in immigration concerns, especially around border issues.

She then went on to express gratitude for the gift that Mara was to the congregation. “Unfolding Mara’s bio was just like opening a treasure box: surprise events, encounters in academic circles,  government jobs and neighborhood projects, conversations with many languages through worldwide journeys kept popping out. We are gifted with so many relationships through Mara.”

During the Mass, Sister Mara made a public proclamation of her religious vows to live a life of commitment to God through Maryknoll Sisters. In so doing, Sister Teruko explained to those gathered, “she says yes to live her vows of chastity in intentional community, living out Mary’s Magnificat, in sharing power with others and celebrating the wholeness of creation. She says yes to live the vow of poverty in an alternative mode to consumer economy, in case of our common home. She says yes to li9ve the vow of obedience, responding to a call to participate in an alternative politics, making a difference in acquisition and use of power. Her yes to Maryknoll is a commitment to a lifelong journey of mission and in ministry,” Sister Teruko added, “as we envision one earth community.”

Scriptural readings selected by Sister Mara herself for the Mass also illuminated something about the woman and her choice. “I want the first reading to be about a personal call [she chose Jeremiah 29:11-14], the second to be about community [Philippians 1:3-11 was the selection here], and the third about our commission to serve [Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet from John 13],” she told Sister Bridget Chapman, the Maryknoll Sisters who walked closely with Sister Mara during the discernment of her calling and gave a reflection on those readings during the Mass.  Reflecting on the passages which called Jeremiah to the life of a prophet, the Philippian church to a life of love for God and one another, and the apostles, as well as those who came after them, to a life of service, Sister Bridget told her newest Sister, Mara< “You will be living with many Maryknoll Sisters who have labored long and faithfully in the fields afar. Faithful daughters of Mollie Rogers {the congregation’s founder]. Get to know them, listen to their stories; they have much to teach you, both by their experience and their faithfulness.”  Then she added, “Some time ago, a Maryknoll Sister was asked, ‘What would you say about your life?’ She responded, ‘If I had my life to live over again, I would choose to be a Maryknoll Sister.’ And may it be so for you, dear Mara.”

A 2000 graduate of Arizona State University, Tempe, with a doctorate in philosophy, Sister Mara, who also holds a master’s degree from South Illinois Univeristy, Carbondale (1996), and a bachelor’s degree from University of Minnesota, Morris (1994), recently completed her candidacy as a Maryknoll Sister in Chicago, IL, where she attended Catholic Theological Union and completed other preparatory programs required by the congregation.

Following her participation with the “Just Faith” program at her church, Sister Mara contacted Maryknoll Sisters, and partnered with them first as a lay woman, working with them among the poor and underprivileged in Cambodia. This association led her to seek membership in the congregation.  In her request to be considered, Mara wrote, “I have admired the Maryknoll Sisters since I was a little girl and first heard about them through the atrocities in El Salvador.  From that time forward, that is what I thought of when I thought about love: to go where you were needed but not always wanted, to refuse to abandon those whom you had come to love despite physical danger, and to serve God all the while. Through the Maryknoll family, I believe I have found the best avenue to give and receive love.”

Upon recitation of her vows, Sister Mara received her Chi-Rho ring, the sign of her commitment to God and Maryknoll Sisters which formalizes her entry into religious life, from Sister Antoinette Gutzler, president of Maryknoll Sisters In the Fall, she will receive her mission cross and her first official mission assignment as a Maryknoll Sister overseas.

Founded in 1912, Maryknoll Sisters is the first US-based congregation of women religious dedicated to foreign mission. Working primarily among the poor and marginalized in 24 countries around the world, they now number 458 members from both the US and overseas.

Rome Reports – Nuns launch social media campaign for ailing Sister to meet Pope Francis

Pope Francis will have a busy schedule when he comes to the United States in September, but one group of nuns is hoping he can find time to make someone’s dream come true.

Sister Noel is an 88-year-old nun with the Maryknoll Sisters, a group of American nuns who focus on charity work. She has been a nun since the Pope was a child in Argentina.
She suffers from a rare disease that affects the movement of her arms, legs and face. She said, “The highest priority on my bucket list is meeting the Pope, it would be a dream come true.”

The group launched a social media campaign to make her dream a reality. The campaign has been covered by local media in New York, and the Facebook post has received more than 70,000 views.

Although she can no longer speak, Sister Noel continues living a productive life of service. She said that she tries to bring “comfort and joy” to the other nuns whom she lives with.

ABC 7 – Elderly Westchester Nun, Battling Rare Disease, Issues Plea To Meet Pope Francis On His NYC Visit

An 88-year old nun from Ossining is battling a rare disease and can’t walk or talk.

And on her bucket list: She wants to meet Pope Francis when he makes his journey to New York City next month.

Her plea has been posted on Facebook and shared more than 1,000 times.

At the tender age of five Sister Noel Divine already knew there was a great calling on her life. So at 17 she joined the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic and began her journey in ministry.

“Divine is my surname so I was destined,” she said.

Now after 70 years of service teaching and helping people around the world and back, Sister Noel would love nothing more than to meet Pope Francis on his visit to New York.

Although she cannot speak or walk due to a rare disease called PLS, she still spreads the good news with the help of this tablet and a smile.

“Pope Francis is more outgoing and in touch with the people, he has great understanding and compassion,” she said.

Just last week Sister Noel’s longtime wish to meet the pope was shared on their Convent’s Facebook page, and it’s since gone viral with more than 1,000 likes and shares and 80,000 views!

“I think it is wonderful people share the same dream so they are rooting for me,” said Sister Noel.

So far there’s no word yet from the Vatican but Sister Noel remains hopeful and certainly prayerful.

“I would like to thank all those who are praying for me and I would like to invite young people to join Maryknoll mission,” she said.

If you want to help Sister Noel see her dream of meeting Pope Francis come true you can go to the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic Facebook page to like and share the post.

Late Thursday afternoon, the Archdiocese of New York told us that the Maryknoll Sisters will be among the religious orders invited to join Pope Francis at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral for Vespers.

News 12 – Maryknoll sister prays to see pope during NY visit

Sister Noel Divine suffers from ALS and lost the ability to speak 15 years ago. She communicates by writing on a board. (8/19/15)

OSSINING – A Maryknoll sister is praying to see the pope during his visit to New York next month.

Sister Noel Divine suffers from ALS and lost the ability to speak 15 years ago. She communicates by writing on a board.

Her disability has not stopped her from fulfilling missions at Maryknoll Sisters Seminary.

The nuns have taken to Facebook to fulfill her dreams of seeing the pope. So far, the page has gotten more than 1,000 shares.

The pope will be in New York Sept. 24 and 25.

Thankfulness and Hope for Future Mark Mass for Sisters Celebrating 50 Years with Maryknoll

Maryknoll Sisters celebrating 50 years with congregation include, left to right, Sisters Shirley King, Alice Cardillo, Patricia Ryan, Connie Krautkremer, Rosalinda Barrozo, Nora Maulawin, Lucia Yu, Amelia Omana, Susan Glass, and Imelda Bautista.
Maryknoll Sisters celebrating 50 years with congregation include, left to right, Sisters Shirley King, Alice Cardillo, Patricia Ryan, Connie Krautkremer, Rosalinda Barrozo, Nora Maulawin, Lucia Yu, Amelia Omana, Susan Glass, and Imelda Bautista.

Maryknoll, NY —  Appreciation, thanksgiving and hope marked the Mass offered August 2, 2015, at Maryknoll Sisters Center in which 11 Sisters celebrated 50 years each with the congregation.

“Our evolving consciousness is helping us to a deeper appreciation of the fact that we are all interrelated with all of God’s creation,” commented Sister Patricia Ryan, MM, one of the jubilarians, during her opening remarks to family, friends and Sisters assembled for the Mass. Sister Pat, who hails from Levittown, NY, has worked tirelessly among the people of Peru’s Altiplano for the past 44 years, helping them fight for and renew the ecological health of the land, water and livestock on which their lives depend. “May today be a day of thanksgiving, unity, deepening commitment and profound job for all of us, and may our joy and gratefulness reverberate throughout the universe!”

Commenting on a passage from the Book of Exodus read during the Mass, Sister Connie Krautkremer, another jubilarian, compared the Israelites’ journey and need to trust God with that of the Sisters celebrating their 50th anniversaries. “When we entered Maryknoll, the Second Vatican Council was ending. Change was taking place in the church and in congregations of Sisters. At Maryknoll we welcomed the new freedom about ministry possibilities, ways to live together, and a new appreciation of the role of the laity in the church and mission.

“Life for us was chaotic at times,” she admitted. “We too grumbled now and then trying to find our way. And we, like the Israelites, received what we needed, as we adapted to the signs of the times, to new cultures, climates, languages and so much more.

This sense of finding our way when life seems confusing is something all people experience, she added, in one way or another. “We all wander around sometimes, maybe not in a desert, but we wanted, looking for something, dissatisfied. Jesus promised that no one will be hungry. We will continue to grumble and complain. I know I will. We will ask why and try to get our prayers just right, and that is okay. All of this is part of our dynamic love relationship with God. Only let us remember and promise to receive gratefully God’s bread from heaven and then share it, move it forward as they say, return it intio the community of life so that truly no one is hungry.”

Symbolically, each jubilarian placed a token of their journey at the foot of the altar during the Mass: a turtle which one Sister said symbolized one’s relationship with God; an image of “Pachamama,” the Andean version of Mother Earth; a Hawaiian lei, symbolizing love; a vessel of water, representing life; a birdhouse, representing a safe space; a list of all the women who entered Maryknoll in 1965, representing fidelity and life; a packet of seeds, representing growth; a woven basket, shell, and photo of Maryknoll Sisters founder Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, symbolizing diverse cultures; a pair of shoes, representing walking on sacred ground; and, finally, one Sister, bowing herself, offering herself in service to God and the universe.

Sisters who celebrated their anniversaries at the Mass included:

Sister Rosalinda Barrozo from the Philippines.  Sister Rosalinda has worked with immigrants in Hawaii for nearly 40 years, and previously worked in pastoral ministry in the Philippines. Currently she is assistant spiritual director of the Filipino Catholic Club at St. Anthony’s Church, Kailua, HI, where she also serves as lector and Eucharistic minister.

Sister Imelda Bautista from the Philippines. Sister Imelda has served since 1970 in Tanzania, teaching at the university level, as well as in post-apartheid Namibia, helping improve the quality of education and the integration process in Catholic schools under the Bishops’ Conference.  She also served on her congregation’s Central Governing Board and as Congregational Treasurer.

Sister Alice Cardillo from Sayreville, PA.  Sister Alice has worked as a nurse in Korea for 18 years, 12 of them with leprosy patients. She then worked at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, providing nursing care to elderly and infirm members of her congregation, at the Maryknoll Archives. Sister Alice also volunteers at Calvary Hospital, Bronx, NY, in pastoral care services, and was given a certificate of appreciation from the hospital in 2014 for her 11 years of dedicated service there.

Sister Susan Glass from Milwaukee, WI. Sister Susan has spent many years doing pastoral work in Hong Kong and Macau, particularly in ministry to youth. Prior to her work there, Sister Sue taught fifth grade, served as art coordinator, and worked in the Department of Religious Education in Honolulu, HI.

Sister Shirley King from Greensburg, PA. Sister Shirley is the congregational photographer for Maryknoll Sisters, having travelled most recently to Asia, where she captured many of the Sisters at their work. Previously, she worked in health education and catechetics in Bolivia, then as parish administrator and health worker in Peru.

Sister Connie Krautkremer from Montgomery, MN. Sister Connie works in Tanzania, equipping women with skills, self-awareness and empowerment to help them realize their full potential.  A past member of the Maryknoll Sisters Congregational Leadership Team and director of the Maryknoll Mission Institute, she has served in Tanzania for most of her missioner life.

Sister Nora Malauwin, a native of the Philippines. Sister Nora has worked primarily as a religious educator in Indonesia and in pastoral ministry in East Timor. She has also served as Creative Productions Writer for the congregation at their Center near Ossining, NY.

Sister Amelia Omaña from the Philippines. Sister Amelia has served primarily in her home country with Maryknoll Sisters. She has worked in finance, pastoral ministry, school and office administration, and with the congregation’s Donor Services Department at Maryknoll, NY.

Sister Patricia Ryan from Levittown, NY. Sister Pat has served the Peruvian people since 1971. During her 44 years there, she has become an ardent advocate and defender of human and environmental rights, especially of the Aymara and Quechua people of the Altiplano, among whom she makes her home.

Sister Lucia Yu from Korea. Sister Lucia is a physician who has treated the sick and infirm in Tanzania, Kenya, her native Korea and the Maryknoll Sisters Center near Ossining, NY. A convert to Catholicism from Buddhism, her work has earned her many awards, including the Korean Medical Association’s Medical Service Award in 2005.

Also celebrating 50 years with Maryknoll in 2015 is Sister Bibiana Bunuan, a native of the Philippines. Currently based in Tanzania, where she will celebrate her anniversary, Sister Bibiana has initiated community-based health care and women’s development programs in both Tanzania and Namibia. She has worked locally to educate people about and bring an end to human trafficking.

Founded in 1912, Maryknoll Sisters is the first US-based congregation of women religious dedicated to foreign mission. Working primarily among the poor and marginalized in 24 countries around the world, they now number 458 members from both the US and overseas.