Anxiety, stress, trauma, and miscommunication can affect our relationships with ourselves, each other, and God. In our call to be whole makers, we Maryknoll Sisters help many people find support and healing for these challenges around the world. Thankfully, people facing these challenges in the Central Pacific Region have someone they can turn to: Sister Bitrina Kirway, M.M.
In her many years of ministry, this mission has brought Sister Bitrina to serve as a primary school teacher, adult educator, advocate, trainer, mentor, and life coach. Above all, she considers herself a listener—to her own heart and to the hearts of others.
As she listened to people of different ages, nationalities, professions, and walks of life, Sister Bitrina discovered a trend: many of them are hurting emotionally,
“Tension and feelings of being overwhelmed are out of hand,” she explains. “Some people are becoming numb because they are so accustomed to it.”
But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the prayers and support of the Maryknoll Sisters community—and friends like you who share our commitment to serving those in need—Sister Bitrina is healing hearts, minds, and bodies.
Sister Bitrina’s realization that so many are hurting emotionally led her to become a certified HeartMath professional. This program empowers individuals and groups by teaching skills for appreciation, kindness, care, and emotional self-regulation.
“I want people to be aware of how stress affects the body. Headaches, dizziness, anxiety, grinding teeth, anger, increased heart rate, and panic disorders are just some of the consequences,” Sister Bitrina says. “What I am introducing is a way of life. We do not need to be victims of our own emotions, thoughts, and attitudes.”
As a mentor, Sister Bitrina focuses on people with emotional and relationship struggles. She accompanies single mothers, survivors of abuse, inmates, women facing homelessness, and those battling addiction on their journeys toward resilience. She also trains the staff of non-profit organizations that serve them.
She fondly remembers an early participant, Debbie, who was facing a lot of challenges. But, when Sister Bitrina checked in with her after a few months, she found a new person— someone strong, capable of tackling any adversity, and who now mentors others.
With a gift to the Maryknoll Sisters, you can help Sister Bitrina and other Sisters live our mission of healing and hope. Your generosity will touch the lives of many and will enable us to continue listening and responding to their needs.