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Sister Rose Marie Guercio M.M. , Maryknoll Sister for 72 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Rose Marie Guercio, M.M. died on June 9th, 2020 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, New York. She was 95 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 72 years! Rose was born on December 31st, 1924 in Astoria, NY to Margaret (Vitale) Guercio and Charles P. Guercio. She had one sister, Josephine and two brothers, Paul and Vincent; all of whom have pre-deceased her.

In 1943, Rose graduated from Freeport High School in Freeport, Long Island, NY.  Following graduation, she worked as a Patent Clerk for Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc. until 1947. Rose then entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Maryknoll, NY from (Holy Redeemer Parish, Rockville Centre, NY) on September 6th, 1947. She made her First Profession of Vows at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY on March 7th, 1950 and her Final Profession of Vows on March 7th, 1953 in Valley Park, MO.

From 1950-1952, Sister Rose worked at the Maryknoll Fathers Seminary and at Bethany (the Maryknoll Sisters Nursing Home) located on the property of the Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY. She then studied at St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing in Rochester, MN graduating as a Registered Nurse in 1955.

In 1955, Sister Rose received her first overseas mission assignment to a government hospital in Kandy, Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka) until 1959. She was then assigned to Pusan, Korea to serve as the Pusan Clinic Supervisor and Assistant Administrator until 1967.  In 1967, she relocated to Seoul, Korea where she studied at Yonsei Language School and did the regional bookkeeping. In 1968, she served as a Delegate to the Congregation’s Special Chapter of Affairs and in 1969 returned to Korea to begin her work at the Maryknoll Fathers Okchon Clinic in Chung Puk Do. There, she initiated maternal/child healthcare programs and served as supervisor/administrator. In recognition of her work, she was awarded a Civil Merit Medal as an “exemplary health worker.”

In 1970, Sister Rose returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY for the Congregation’s General Assembly, as Korea’s Regional Delegate. In 1972, she was assigned to Jeung Pyeong, Korea to work as Administrator of the Maryknoll Clinic and draft plans for greater public health facilities.

From 1975-1979, she founded the Medical Health Insurance Cooperative, with this new endeavor she was able to provide families with health insurance at affordable rates. The Governor of Jeung Pyeong recognized her important work and made her an Honorary Citizen of the Province.

In 1979, Sister Rose returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll NY to serve as Assistant Treasurer until 1984 when she was again elected as Delegate to the Congregation’s General Assembly. She then returned to Seoul, Korea to work for the Korean Bishops Conference in the National Catholic Justice and Peace Commission.

In 1990, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY to work as a member of the task force planning for the 1991 General Assembly. From 1991-2000, she volunteered in the Development Department and Planned Giving Office at the center.

She then returned to Seoul, Korea once again in 2000. This time she took over the Ilsan Bible Study Class and became English Editor at the Coalition for Economic Justice. She was also Editor of the English edition of Civil Society Magazine while also serving as a Eucharistic Minister in the Kayang Parish.

In 2006 Sister Rose returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center to fully retire.

Sister Rose’s body was interred in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on June 10, 2020. An outdoor memorial service was held for her on Sunday, June 14th.

 

Sister Mary Lee Englerth, M.M. , Maryknoll Sister for 46 Years Dies


Maryknoll, NY: Sister Mary Lee Englerth, M.M. died on May 31st, 2020 at the WellSpan Hospital in York, PA. She was 83 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 46 years.

Mary Lee was born on February 4th, 1937 in Harrisburg, PA to Winifred C. (Gillen) Englerth and Charles L. Englerth; she was an only child.

In 1954, she graduated from Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg, PA and immediately entered the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Immaculata, PA. Sister Mary Lee then attended the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music during the summers from 1957 – 1961 and Immaculata College from 1963 – 1968, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music. She also spent a few months on mission in Peru in 1962.

On August 10th, 1973, she transferred to the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation and entered at the Maryknoll Sisters Formation House in St. Louis, MO. Sister Mary Lee soon joined the Maryknoll Community at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, New York.  She spent the next two years, studying at the Maryknoll School of Theology (located on the Sisters Center property) and earned a Master of Arts Degree in Religious Studies.

On June 8th 1975, she made her Final Vows at the Maryknoll Sisters Center and was then assigned to Peru. She served at the San Miguel Parish, Ilave, in the Juli Prelature working as a member of the pastoral team. They ventured to rural communities to promote health education; high school sacramental preparation and worked with local women’s groups.

In 1979, Sister Mary Lee returned to St. Louis, MO and enrolled at St. Louis University to become a Physician’s Assistant. She earned her certification in 1981 and returned to Peru to serve as a Health Coordinator in the Juli Prelature. There, she taught health courses and trained several healthcare workers until 1987, when she returned to the U.S. to care for her elderly mother in PA.  She was appointed as Center Administrator at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY from 1989-1991.

Sister Mary Lee then returned to PA and became a member of the Maryknoll Sisters Eastern Region in 1998. During this time, she also become Director of the State Migrant Program, served as a Member of the Migrant Clinicians Network and worked as Coordinator of the Keystone Health Center for Migrant Care programs and Clinical Quality Control Programs until 2003.

In 2003, Sister Mary Lee was assigned to the rural mountain area of Guatemala, there she did primary care and trained healthcare workers in the parishes of Concepción and Sipacapa.

In 2007, Sister Mary Lee returned to the U.S. to serve on the Maryknoll Sisters Eastern U.S. Region Team at the Keystone Center once again. She served the migrant workers in 32 counties of Western Pennsylvania until her retirement in 2019.

Sister Mary Lee’s work was recognized and deeply appreciated among the migrant community.  In 2018, she was presented with the Living the Dream Award, given annually to a person who best exemplifies the ideals of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.!

Funeral Services: She will be buried at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, funeral services will be scheduled for a date in the future when group gatherings are deemed safe. Sister Mary Lee’s family and our community remember her soul in prayer during this difficult time.

Sister Constance Marie Pospisil, M.M. , Maryknoll Sister for 62 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Constance Marie Pospisil, M.M. died on May 20th, 2020 while on mission in the village of Lemoa, El Quiché Province, Guatemala. She was 84 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 62 years.

Constance was born in New York City, New York on July 2nd, 1935 to Constance M. Pospisil and Anton J. Pospisil.  She is survived by her sister, Adelaide, two nieces and a nephew. In 1953, she graduated from Cathedral High School in New York City. Following graduation, she attended St. Vincent’s School of Nursing in New York City, receiving her R.N Certificate in 1956.

On September 2nd, 1957 Constance entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY (from St. Thomas Apostle Parish in Rockville Centre, NY). She made her first Profession of Vows at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY on June 24th, 1960 and her Final Vows on June 24th, 1966 in Chile, South America.

Sister Constance first served at the Maryknoll Sisters Nursing Home after making her First Profession of Vows. In 1961, she was assigned to Pucon, Chile to do catechetical work and serve as a nurse in the local clinic. In 1962, she relocated to the pueblo of Galvarino, where she again did clinic and catechetical work until 1969.

Sister Constance then returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY to work in the Development Department; doing promotion and mission education work until 1971.

In 1972, she returned to Chile to work in Chillán as a clinic nurse at the Good Sheperd Home for Girls, teach First Aid and help with the formation of rural health workers. In 1973, Sister Constance transferred to Santiago, Chile where she served as a Public Health Nurse in the National Health Service and started the first pre-school lunch program in “población La Bandera”.

From 1975-1977, she had returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY to continue her education at Pace University, Westchester County, NY, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and became a Certified Somatic Psychotherapist.

Following graduation, Sister Constance returned to “población La Bandera” located on the outskirts of Santiago, where she did psychiatric public nursing and worked with Basic Christian Communities from 1977-1982. She then returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY to do Congregational Service in the Development and Computer Services Departments. From 1985-1988, she served as a Center Council Board member.

In 1990, she volunteered for the Maryknoll Sisters new mission project in Sao Paulo, Brazil. There, she worked in health services among women’s groups until 1992. From 1993-2003, she relocated to Joao Pessoa, Brazil where she helped found a holistic health care center for women.

In 2004, Sister Constance then joined the Maryknoll Sisters Contemplative Community (The Maryknoll Sisters Contemplative Community was established in 1932 in order to support the work of the order’s missions through prayer, contemplation, retreats, study, counseling, and participation in the liturgy) and was assigned to the small mountain village of Lemoa, El Quiche, Guatemala. She dedicated the remainder of her life to prayer, adoration, and solitude. However, she remained active in her mission work to help care for the local people in need in many ways until the time of her sudden death.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on the morning of May 21st, 2020 at the Sisters Chapel in Lemoa de Santa Cruz, El Quiche, Guatemala; she was buried that afternoon in the Lemoa Cemetery.

Sister Patricia Marie Hafey, Maryknoll Sister for 68 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Patricia Marie Hafey, M.M. died on May 6th, 2020 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 90 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 68 years.

Patricia was born in Long Beach, New York on July 11th, 1929 to Mary (Gavin) Hafey and Francis Hafey. Her family later moved to Springfield, Massachusetts where she was raised. She had four brothers: Brian, Robert, Richard and William and two sisters: Virginia and Catherine. Her brothers, Richard and William have predeceased her.

From 1944-1945, Patricia attended Cathedral High School in Springfield, MA and then transferred to Sacred Heart High School also located in Springfield, MA; graduating in 1947. Following high school graduation, she enrolled in the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent, New Jersey, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Home Economics in 1951.

She then entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY on September 6th, 1951 (from Holy Name Parish in Springfield, MA.) At her Reception into the Congregation she was given the religious name, Sister Marie Assunta and returned to her baptismal name after Vatican Council II. She made her First Profession of Vows at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY on March 7th, 1954 and her Final Vows on the same date in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1960.

In 1954, Sister Patricia received her first mission assignment to teach at St. Anthony’s School in the Bronx, NY; after a few months she was transferred to Transfiguration School in Chinatown, New York City.

In 1955, she was assigned to Hawaii where she spent the next eight years teaching. First, she taught English and American Government at Maryknoll High School in the Punahou district of Honolulu and then homemaking at St. Anthony Girls School on the island of Maui in Wailuku.

Sister Patricia then responded to a need to teach in Tanzania, East Africa in 1963. There, she taught at Rosary Secondary School in Mwanza and setup a Home Economics Department until 1971. She then relocated to Musoma Language School, Tanzania in 1972 to study Swahili. From 1973 – 1977, she took a break from teaching and served as Coordinator for a Pastoral team in the Village of Ntodeye in the Ngara Diocese.

Sister Patricia returned to the U.S. in 1977 to do Congregational Service at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY. She volunteered her time in the Development and Promotion Departments until 1981. She then returned to Tanzania once again, teaching religious education in parish schools in the town of Tarime. During this time, she also served as Coordinator for a Pastoral Team in the Diocese of Musoma until 1984.

In May of 1984, Sister Patricia suffered serious injuries in a road accident and returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY for rehabilitation. She remained there volunteering in the Data Processing Office until 1987. She then spent the next year working with the Africa Faith and Justice Network in Washington, D.C.

From 1989 – 1997, Sister Patricia worked in the Congregation’s IT Department and in the Social Services Office in the Maryknoll Sisters Nursing Home. She then relocated to the Maryknoll Sisters residence in Monrovia, CA to retire, but remained an active volunteer. She spent her time tutoring English and writing letters to prisoners.

In 2012, Sister Patricia returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY to fully retire.

Funeral Services: She will be buried at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, funeral services will be scheduled for a date in the future when group gatherings are deemed safe. Sister Patricia’s family and our community remember her soul in prayer during this difficult time.

Sister M. Bernadette Cordis Duggan, Maryknoll Sister for 61 Years Dies


Maryknoll, NY:
Sister Bernadette Cordis Duggan, M.M. died on May 6th, 2020 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY. She was 82 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 61 years. Bernadette was born in Boston, MA on September 30th, 1937 to Elizabeth (King) Duggan and Peter Duggan, she was baptized as Barbara. She is survived by her sister, Mary (Duggan) Roy and brother-in-law, P. Norman Roy, her brother Paul Ryan and her sister-in-law, Lorraine, five nieces, one nephew and 13 great grand nieces and nephews.

From 1951-1955, Barbara attended Cheverus High School in Malden, MA.  Following graduation, she enrolled in Catherine Labouré School of Nursing in Dorchester, MA, receiving her Registered Nurse Certificate in 1958. She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY on September 2nd, 1958 (from Sacred Hearts Parish in Malden, MA.)

At her Reception into the Congregation, she was given the religious name Sister Mary Bernadette Cordis and was known as “Sister Bernadette”.  She made her First Profession of Vows at the Maryknoll Sisters Center on June 24th, 1961 and her Final Vows on June 24th, 1967 also at the Sisters Center.

Sister Bernadette’s first mission assignment was to Bethany (the Maryknoll Sisters Nursing Home at the time) located on the Sisters property; there she helped provide care to the elderly and sick Sisters. From 1965-1967, she studied at Salve Regina College in Newport, Rhode Island earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in 1967. She continued her studies and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Health Nursing from the University of Minnesota in 1969.

In 1970, Sister Bernadette received her first overseas mission assignment to the Philippines; there she worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital (a hospital administered by the Maryknoll Sisters) in Manapla. Her mission work involved TB outpatient treatment, home visits for outpatients, and public health nursing. The hospital was also a practice facility for students in a Baccalaureate Program, Sister Bernadette enjoyed being the field work guide for the nurses in training.

She spent the next 10 years, from 1975-1985, on the Island of Mindinao in the Mountains of Upi, Maguindanao with the tribal Tiruray people and Muslim communities. There she provided aid with pregnancy complications, teaching nutrition classes about the importance of maternal/child health, conducting pre- and post-natal clinics and classes for local traditional midwives, herbal medicine techniques, marriage preparation and natural family planning classes.

Sister Bernadette returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY to serve in the Congregational Health Services/Laboratory from 1985-1988. She then spent the next 15 years, from 1989-2005, working in St. Paul’s Hospital in Shelabunia, this was a small rural hospital in Bangladesh operated by the local Sister Associates of Mary, Queen of the Apostles. There, she served as a. nurse with another Maryknoll Sister, Sister Marion Puszcz, M.M. who was the doctor in residence. For the next ten years, she continued to work at St. Paul’s Hospital while also being engaged in a variety of ministries in community health services: serving as a nurse in the local clinics located near the reserve for the Royal Bengal Tiger, resulting in a lot of tiger bite patients!

Sister Bernadette transferred to Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2006 to serve as a nurse at “Seedling of Hope Hospice”, a project administered by the Maryknoll team there which focused on caring for adult HIV/AIDS patients.

In 2008, Sister Bernadette returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY to semi-retire. She remained active in her ministry serving as a medical volunteer among the ill and elderly Sisters at the Center, accompanying them on medical appointments until 2016 when she retired.

Funeral Services: She will be buried at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, funeral services will be scheduled for a date in the future when group gatherings are deemed safe. Sister Bernadette’s family and our community remember her soul in prayer during this difficult time.

Sister Alice Wengrzynek M.M., Maryknoll Sister for 66 Years, Dies

Sister Alice Webgrzynek

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Alice Wengrzynek, M.M. died on April 30th, 2020 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY. She was 85 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 66 years.

Alice was born in Simpson, PA on September 29 th , 1934 to Anne (Dziadkowicz) Wengrzynek and Walter Wengrzynek. She had one brother, Walter and four sisters, Anne, Mary, Kathryn and Sister Rose Agnes (RSM). She is survived by only one sibling, her sister Anne.

From 1948-1952, Alice attended St. Rose High School in Carbondale, PA. She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate as a Postulant in Clarks Summit, PA on September 2nd, 1953. She made her First Profession of Vows at the Maryknoll Sisters Center on March 7th, 1956 and her Final Vows on March 7th, 1962 in Kansas City, MO.

Following her First Profession of Vows, Sister Alice was assigned to the Seminary kitchen and served as part-time Secretary to Bishop Raymond A. Lane for one year. In 1958, she enrolled in Mary Rogers College, Maryknoll, NY (located on the Sisters property) where she studied for one year. She then earned a Diploma and Registration in X-Ray Technology at St. Joseph Hospital in Kansas City, MO in 1962.

Sister Alice received her first overseas mission assignment to Taiwan in 1964. There, she did clinic, youth and parish work in Changhua until 1968.

She was then assigned to Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital in Hong Kong, to serve as Director of Hospital Admissions and the Medical Records Department until1972. She then served as Executive Secretary for Hospital Administrator and Board of Directors; part-time Secretary for the Maryknoll Fathers Regional
Superior and Secretary for Asian Bishops Conferences, FABC and Caritas International from 1973-1981.

Sister Alice began a new mission assignment in Hong Kong, working with mentally and physically handicapped children and adults from 1981-1986. She helped teach them skills and techniques to be self-sufficient in their home environments. During this time, she also responded to an invitation from Education
Departments and Governments to help conduct educational workshops in various places such as (Hong Kong, Macao, China, Taiwan and India).

In 1986, Sister Alice returned to the U.S. to work in the Maryknoll Mission Archives Department for the next two years; she also did home ministry caring
for her elderly mother until 1989. She then returned to Hong Kong for a brief period, this time doing pastoral work in the New Territories in the Parish of Hung
Shui Kui, Yuen Long until 1991.

From 1991-1996, Sister Alice returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY and was appointed as Secretary to the President of the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation, Sister Claudette LaVerdiere. She continued her secretarial duties to the new Congregation President, Sister Helene O’Sullivan from 1996-2002.

She spent the next few years serving in the Maryknoll Mission Archives Department once again, this time as the curator of the Sisters collection until
2008. Sister Alice also volunteered around the Maryknoll Sisters Center serving as Assistant Sacristan and Office Assistant in the Physical Plant Department until 2016 when she fully retired.

Funeral Services: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, funeral services will be scheduled for a date in the future when group gatherings are deemed safe. Sister Alice’s family and our community remember her soul in prayer during this difficult time.

Sister Andrée Bernadette Normandin, M.M. , Maryknoll Sister for 73 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Andrée Bernadette Normandin, M.M. died on May 1st, 2020 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 97 years old had been a Maryknoll Sister for 73 years!

Andrée was born in Montréal, Canada on June 2nd, 1922 to Amelia (Collette) Normandin and George Normandin. She was the third oldest in a family of four boys and four girls, all of whom have pre-deceased her. When Andrée was five months old her family moved to Fitchburg, MA; she became a U.S. Citizen on December 8th, 1944.

From 1936-1940, Andrée attended St. Bernard’s High School in Fitchburg, MA. Following graduation, she worked as a company secretary for six years before entering the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Maryknoll, NY on October 5th, 1946.  She made her First Profession of Vows at the Maryknoll Sisters Center on April 6th, 1949 and her Final Vows on April 6th, 1952 also at the Sisters Center.

Sister Andrée attended Yale University to study Mandarin from 1949-1951. She had hopes of being assigned to China, however, there was a ban admitting foreigners to the country at that time. She instead worked at the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers as a Secretary from 1951-1954.

In 1954, Sister Andrée finally received her first overseas mission assignment to Taiwan, there she first studied the Taiwanese language for one year. In 1955, she began her ministry at the Religious Educator Training School in Changhua, conducting classes on music and “teaching methods”. During this time, she also engaged in pastoral and catechetical work in various local villages.

Sister Andrée relocated to the mountain area of Wu She, there she continued training future teachers by conducting “teaching method workshops” from 1960-1966. She was then assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Hostel in Taichung to work with young women residents from 1967-1971. While on mission in Taichung, she also served as the Congregation’s Coordinator and Regional Board Member for the Sisters Taiwan Region.

In 1971, Sister Andrée returned to the U.S. to further her education at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Asian Studies in 1975. She also took a CPE Course (Pastoral Education) for 11 weeks at Central Islip Hospital in Long Island and served as a Coordinator at the Maryknoll Sisters Center from 1974-1975.

Sister Andrée returned to Taiwan in 1976, she began a new mission working among young factory workers in Kaohsiung. In 1978, she joined the Pastoral Care Team at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kaohsing, serving as Chaplain caring for terminally ill patients. She also helped the team open Samaritan Home in 1980 (a group home for unwed mothers in need). In 1983, Sister Andrée was appointed as Director of the Pastoral Care Department at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Assistant Director of Samaritan Home until 1990.

She was called back to the U.S. and spent the next nine years serving as Coordinator of Maryknoll Sisters house in Monrovia, CA until 1999. Once again she then returned to Taiwan, this time her mission work involved helping AIDS patients in need. She also spent her time working on a Maryknoll archives project, where she researched and wrote the Congregation’s entire Taiwan region history.

In 2004, Sister Andrée retired at the Maryknoll Sisters House in Monrovia, CA. She remained an active volunteer in the local community, volunteering at the Monrovia Civic Community Works and served as the Maryknoll Guild Contact Person. In 2014, she fully retired and relocated to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY.

Funeral Services: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, funeral services will be scheduled for a date in the future when group gatherings are deemed safe. Sister Andrée’s family and our community remember her spirit in prayer during this difficult time.

Sister Marie Christelle Zabalerio, M.M. , Maryknoll Sister for 56 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Marie Christelle Zabalerio, M.M. died on April 28th, 2020. She was 82 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 56 years. Marie was born in Lucena, Philippines on January 11th, 1939 to Segundina (Padillo) Zabalerio and Eugeniano Zabalerio. She had one sister, Lyda and two brothers, Rolando and Generoso; she is survived by her brother Generoso.

Marie attended Maryknoll Academy High School in Lucena City, PH from 1951-1955. Following her graduation, she enrolled at Maryknoll College in Manila, where she earned a Bachelor of Education Degree in 1959. For the next two years, she taught at Maryknoll Academy High School.

On June 1st, 1963, she entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Quezon City, PH. At her Reception she was given the religious name, Sister Marie Christelle, a name she retained throughout her life. She made her First Profession of Vows in the Philippines on March 19th, 1966 and her Final Vows on May 17th, 1970, also in the Philippines.

Sister Marie Christelle received her first mission assignment to the Philippines in 1966, she served as a grade school teacher at Maryknoll School in Quezon City until 1968. She was then appointed as Principal of the College of St. John the Baptist in Jimenez where she served until 1971. For the next few years, she continued to teach English, Religion and Catechetical classes at Sto. Tomas, Maryknoll High School and in the public elementary school. In 1972, Sister Marie Christelle broadened her services to include parish work at Sto. Tomas San Miguel Parish. There she took on various roles: Youth Coordinator, Advisor to Volunteer Catechists, Seminar Organizer for Women and an Active Member of the Deanery and Prelature Youth Commission.

In 1976, Sister Marie Christelle returned to the U.S. to attend Trocaire College, Buffalo, NY she earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing in 1978. She then returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY where she worked as a Nurse’s Aide at the Congregations Bethany Nursing Home until 1979. She spent the next few years working at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Montrose, NY, where she received a “Certificate of Appreciation” after 100 hours of service in 1981.

Sister Marie Christelle spent the next 11 years in Bangladesh serving as a Field Supervisor of a Natural Family Planning Program in the Kulna Region. Her work also included family counseling, pre-marriage courses, preparation of lay leaders, neighborhood Christian community involvement and training women to teach natural family planning until 1990.

She returned to the Philippines for “family ministry” in 1991, during her time there she set up special seminars for Maryknoll Sisters and engaged in ecumenical work. Following her family ministry, Sister Marie Christelle returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY to take special courses in religious formation. She was then appointed as a member of the Congregation’s Orientation Team. In 2001, she continued her education and earned a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola College, Chicago, IL.

Sister Marie Christelle was assigned to Aileu, East Timor in 2004, where she engaged in community-based health work, taught English, was an advisor at the Catholic High School and introduced the Natural Family Planning Program.

In 2014 she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY to retire.

Funeral Services: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, funeral services will be scheduled for a date in the future when group gatherings are deemed safe. Sister Marie Christelle’s family and our community remember her soul in prayer during this difficult time.

Sister Virginia Farrell M.M. , Maryknoll Sister for 55 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Virginia Farrell, M.M. died on April 14th, 2020 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She had been a Maryknoll Sister for 55 years and was 94 years old. Virginia was born in Paterson, NJ on August 12th, 1925 to Mildred (Pyle) Farrell and George Farrell. She had one sister, Mrs. Ruth Paules and two brothers, George and Thomas.

Virginia attended Bassick High School in Bridgeport, CT from 1939-1943. Following graduation, she attended the University of Connecticut and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in 1948.

From 1948-1964, she engaged in various medical positions: Instructor at University of Connecticut School of Nursing in Storrs, CT (1948-1949); Polio nursing-private duty (1949), Pediatrics Staff Nurse at New York Hospital in New York, NY (1950), Instructor at St. Joseph School of Nursing in San Francisco, CA  (1950 – 1952), U.S. Army Nurse Corps with assignments to Korea where she met the Maryknoll Sisters and served as a volunteer during her off-time at their Pusan Clinic (1952-1961), Germany with the Mobile Army Surgical training Unit – MASH, and Iran to help set up their Army Nurse Corps.

In 1955, she earned a Master’s Degree in Nursing from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.; she also served as a member of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps during this time. From 1961-1963, Virginia joined the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), to serve as Hospital Nursing Services Advisor in Managua, Nicaragua. While she was in Nicaragua, she also volunteered as a nurse with the Maryknoll Sisters for a few months in Siuna.

Virginia followed her calling and entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Valley Park, Missouri on October 18th, 1964. She made her First Profession of Vows at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY on June 24th, 1967 and her Final Vows on June 22nd, 1974 at the Maryknoll Sisters residence in Rhode Island.

In 1968, Sister Virginia was assigned to Vietnam where she was appointed Field Director of a Medical Team designed to work with Vietnamese counterparts in provincial hospitals. After two years, she was then assigned to South America to work with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Peru, participating in emergency and relief organizations following the terrible earthquake in Huaraz which took approximately 50,000 lives. Her work with (WHO) also took her to Nicaragua where she organized a clinic in the outskirts of Managua.

In 1971, Sister Virginia returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY to provide aid to the ill and elderly Sisters at the Congregations Nursing Home. In 1972, she was assigned to Appalachian Regional Hospital in Hazard, KY to serve as Head Nurse of the Extended Care Facility and Coordinator of the Hospital In-Service Education Program until 1978. She then served as Hospital Outreach Coordinator with the Ephraim McDowell Community Cancer Center in Hazard, KY until 1980.

Sister Virginia had a passion for caring for the ill and elderly, responding to the need in the Hazard, KY community she founded the “Hazard/Perry County Community Hospice, Inc.” in 1979.  The hospice program allowed families to be with their loved ones in the final stages of their life. Sister Virginia served as Director of the Hospice until 1992 when she retired.

In 2005, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY.

Funeral Services: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, funeral services will be scheduled for a date in the future when group gatherings are deemed safe. Sister Virginia’s family and our community remember her soul in prayer during this difficult time.

Sister Frances Calcaterra M.M. , Maryknoll Sister for 69 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Frances Calcaterra, M.M. died on April 13th, 2020 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She had been a Maryknoll Sister for 69 years. Frances was born in Highland Park, MI on March 20th, 1931 to Catherine (Loche) Calcaterra and Angelo Calcaterra. She had one sister, Dolores who was also her twin.

Frances attended Blessed Sacrament High School in Detroit, MI from 1945-1949. Following her graduation, she attended Marygrove College also in Detroit, MI from 1949 – 1950.

She then entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Valley Park, MI on February 1st, 1951. She made her First Vows on September 8th, 1953 at Valley Park, MO and her Final Vows on September 8th, 1959 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY.

From 1953-1957, Sister Frances did Congregational Service at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY while she continued her studies at Maryknoll Teachers College (located on the property of the Sisters Center). In 1957, she earned a Bachelor in Education Degree.

Sister Frances then began her teaching career at the Transfiguration Parish School in Chinatown, NYC from 1957-1966. She was then assigned to the Maryknoll High School in Punahou, Hawaii to teach Theology and engaged in student counseling. There, she also earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Counseling at the University of Hawaii in 1973. From 1972-1979, she remained at Maryknoll High school to serve as Guidance Director/Counselor and continued teaching Theology.

In 1979, Frances moved to Waimanalo, HI where she worked in a program focused on traditional Hawaiian culture and values for four years.

In 1982, she returned to Berkley, MI to engage in family ministry, caring for her elderly parents. During this time, she also worked at Marian High School in Birmington, MI as a Guidance Counselor until 1991.

In 1993, Sister Frances became a member of the Maryknoll Sisters U.S. Eastern Region and remained a member until 2012. During that time, she continued to engage in student counseling and also did various volunteer work.  She then returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY in 2016 to retire.

Funeral Services: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, funeral services will be scheduled for a date in the future when group gatherings are deemed safe. Sister Frances’s family and our community remember her spirit in prayer during this difficult time.