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Sister Joan Uhlen, Maryknoll Sister for 77 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Joan Uhlen, M.M. educator and pastoral worker died on August 12th, 2019 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining, NY.

Joan was born in St. Louis, MO, on December 21st, 1923 to Lily Ann (Pistorius) Uhlen and Bernard J. Uhlen. She had three brothers, Herbert, Henry and Raymond, and three sisters, Lorraine, Mrs. Margaret Ahrens, and Sister Teresa of Jesus, OCD; all of whom have pre-deceased her.

In 1941, Joan graduated from Rosati-Kain High School in St. Louis, MO. She then entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining, NY on September 6th, 1942 (from Holy Ghost Parish, now part of St. Ann’s and Visitation Parishes of the St. Louis Diocese).

At her Reception on March 7th, 1943 she received the religious name Sister M. Joan Francis. She made her First Profession of Vows at the Maryknoll Sisters Center on March 7th, 1945 and pronounced her Final Vows on March 7th, 1948 also at the Sisters Center.

Sister Joan attended Maryknoll Teachers College from 1944-1948, graduating with a Bachelor of Education Degree. She then received her first mission assignment to Kaneohe, HI where she taught in St. Ann’s Grade School and High School until 1957. Sister Joan returned to NY to study, in 1958 she earned a Masters of Education Degree from Fordham University in the Bronx, NY.  After earning her Master’s Degree, she returned to Kaneohe and was appointed Principal of St. Ann’s Grade and High School until 1964. In 1965, she was assigned to the Maryknoll School in Punahou, HI where she taught English and religious guidance to grades 10 and 12.

Sister Joan returned to the U.S. in 1968 for a renewal period and to do promotion work for the Congregation.  In 1970, she was assigned to a new mission in Yucatan, Mexico. After language study there, she worked with students in art, films and multi-media.

In 1972, Sister Joan was assigned to Condega, Nicaragua where she did pastoral work with parish and diocesan teams.  She also created educational courses for women and children’s groups.  In 1974, she was appointed Regional Coordinator for the Panama/Nicaragua/El Salvador Region in the Maryknoll Sisters Regional House.  She then returned to Condega, Nicaragua where she immersed herself in Pastoral work and adult education until 2003; when she called on hundreds of friends to help her construct a retreat house, “Casa de Paz” (House of Peace). In 2008, Sister Joan returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY where she retired.

In 2013, a plaza in Nicaragua that happened to be located directly across from “Casa de Paz” was renamed in her honor to, “Plaza Hermana Joan Uhlen.”

A Vespers Service will be held for Sister Joan on Thursday, August 15th, 2019 in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.

 A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on August 16th, 2019 in the same chapel to be followed by interment at the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery.

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Sister Julie Miller, Maryknoll Sister for 57 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Julie Miller died on July 25th, 2019 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 76 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 57 years.  She was born in Norfolk, VA on November 11th, 1942 to Frances (James) Miller and Joseph Miller.  She had a brother, James and two sisters, Gloria and Mary. Her brother and parents are both deceased, she is survived by her two sisters.

In 1960, Julie graduated from St. Vincent’s Academy, in Savannah, GA and then attended Armstrong Junior College in Savannah from 1960-1961. She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Maryknoll, NY on September 2nd, 1961 (from St. James’s Parish in Savannah, GA).   At her Reception she received the religious name, Sister Maureen Faith, and returned to her baptismal name after Vatican Council II. She made her First Profession of Vows on June 24th, 1964 at the Maryknoll Sisters Topsfield, MA Novitiate and her Final Vows on June 14th, 1970 in Japan.

From 1964-1969, Sister Julie studied at Mary Rogers College (on the Maryknoll Sisters Property) in Maryknoll, NY and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Service.

In 1969, she received her first overseas mission assignment to Japan, where she studied Japanese until 1971.  That year she was the only American as a language staff member of the “Japan Overseas Co-operation Volunteers”, a government agency. From 1972-1973, Sister Julie taught volunteers at the “Japan Peace Corps”, music at Aoyama School, and English at Futaba School. She also did private English tutoring at that time.

In 1974, she returned to the United States to study at the University of Georgia where she earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology in 1975.

Sister Julie was then assigned to the Panama/Nicaragua/El Salvador Region in 1976. She first served in Nicaragua where she worked with catechists and church leaders. In 1979, she went to El Salvador to do pastoral work, but soon after returned to Nicaragua to engage in relief work after the war.

From 1986 – 1987, she returned to the United States to study once again. She attended New York State University and Long Island University, earning a Certificate in Gerontological Counseling and became licensed as a Nursing Home Administrator.  She was then appointed as Administrator of the Maryknoll Nursing Home from 1984-1987.

Sister Julie joined the Maryknoll Sisters Eastern U.S. Region and worked as Nursing Home Administrator for the Sparkill Dominican Sisters from 1987-1998.  She returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center for Congregational Service as Associate Congregational Personnel Director until 2001. She was given a special assignment as Center Liturgist and was the Director of Music and Liturgy at the Maryknoll Sisters Center from 2001 until her retirement in 2015.

A Vespers Service will be held for Sister Julie Miller in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 4:15 P.M.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place in the same Chapel on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 11:00 A.M.   Interment will follow at the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery.

 

Sister Rose Dominic Trapasso, Maryknoll Sister for 70 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Rose Dominic Trapasso died on July 14th, 2019 at Clinica Stella Maris Medical Center in Lima, Peru. She was 94 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 70 years.

Marie Louise Trapasso was born in Niagara Falls, New York on September 23rd, 1924 to Rose (Di Ciocco) Trapasso and Dominic Trapasso.  She had two sisters, Joan Ann and Margaret. Her parents and sister, Margaret have predeceased her.

In 1941, Marie Louise graduated from Niagara Falls Public High School. She then attended New York State College for Teachers in Albany, NY from 1941 to 1945, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education. From 1946-1947, Marie Louise enrolled at the University of Buffalo, NY earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work. After completing her studies, she worked briefly at Catholic Charities of Niagara Falls before entering the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate.

On September 6th, 1948 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY she joined the Sisters from (St. Joseph’s Parish, Buffalo, NY). At her reception she received the religious name, Sister Rose Dominic, honoring both her father and mother with that name. She retained that name until her death. She made her first Profession of Vows on March 7th, 1951 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY and her Final Vows on the same date in Bolivia in 1954.

Sister Rose Dominic’s first assignment was to Hawaii in 1951, she lived in Nuuanu and worked at Catholic Charities in Honolulu. In 1953, she received her first overseas assignment to the Bolivia/Peru Region. She studied Spanish at Cochabamba, Bolivia until 1954, then she was assigned to Lima, Peru to work at Caritas de Lima (the social work of the Archdiocese of Lima). From 1961-1972, Sister Rose Dominic along with three Peruvian social workers and another Maryknoll Sister, Sister Rose Timothy Galvin, initiated a Department of Social Development at Caritas de Lima.  During the 1960s, she taught in the newly established School of Social Work, affiliated with the Catholic University of Peru and supervised students studying in the National School of Social Service.

From 1973-1987, with Maryknoll Sister Rose Timothy Galvin, she co-founded a small center, Creativity and Change-to promote concern for women’s rights. In 1977, Sister Rose Dominic with two other women, set up another center- the Movimiento El Pozo, (The Well Movement).  This center was designed to work specifically with women involved in prostitution and to educate the public through written materials on the trafficking of women and girls.

From 1987-2010, Sister Rose Dominic continued to do outreach work on behalf of women in Lima. She eventually retired in Lima at the nursing home of the Religious of the Sacred Heart, where she later died.

A Mass of Resurrection, celebrated by Maryknoll Fathers Joseph Fedora and Robert Hoffmann, was held on July 15 at the Chapel of the Religious of the Sacred Heart in Lima, Peru.

 

 

 

Sister Janet Carroll, Maryknoll Sister for 67 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Janet Carroll died on May 28th, 2019 at Cedar Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Ossining, NY. She was 85 years old and a Maryknoll Sister for 67 years.

Janet was born in New York City on July 22nd, 1933 to Ethel Rita (Waters) Carroll and Raphael Peter Carroll. She had two brothers, Raymond and Arthur. Her parents and her brother Raymond have predeceased her.

She graduated from St. Barnabas High School in the Bronx, NY and entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Maryknoll, NY on September 2nd, 1952 from (St. John the Evangelist Parish, Kingsbridge in the Archdiocese of New York).

At her Reception into the Congregation, she received the religious name, Sister Mara Francis, but returned to her baptismal name after Vatican Council II. She made her First Profession of Vows on March 7th, 1955 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. In 1961, she made her Final Profession of Vows on March 7th, in Taiwan.

After making her First Profession of Vows in 1955, Sister Janet worked at the Maryknoll Society kitchen and Field Afar magazine until 1956.  She then received her first overseas mission assignment to Changhua, Taiwan where she studied the language until 1957. From 1958-1962, her missionary work included: pastoral ministry, religious education, youth work, leadership training, and socio-economic development in the villages of PoLi, Changhua and Houlung. She was also the House Superior from 1962 – 1965 and served on the language school staff for seven months in 1965.

Sister Janet then returned to Maryknoll, NY in 1966, where she studied for one year at the Congregation’s Mary Rogers College before transferring to New York University in 1967. There she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Science/Cum Laude in 1968.  She later earned a Master of Arts Degree in International Affairs at Yale University, New Haven CT in 1989 and was awarded an Honorary Degree for Doctor of Humane Letters at Siena College in 1996.

Her Professional Services included:

-1968 – 1972   Executive Secretary, Institute for Social Action – Hsinchu

-1972 – 1979   Maryknoll Sisters Research and Planning Director

-1979 – 1987   United Nations Advisor to the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, Asean States and China and was awarded the Papal Honor: Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice for her service to the Holy See Mission in 1987

-1989 – 2003   Maryknoll – Executive Director of U.S. China Bureau; Editor: China Church Quarterly; Coordinator: National Catholic China Annual Conferences; and Leader of eleven Religious Study Tours to China

-2004 – 2009   Senior Associate of the U.S. Catholic China Bureau: Primary responsibilities were: research, writing, lectures, seminars, media contacts, educational and China service outreach

-1991 – 2019   Maryknoll Society’s China Project: Consultant

Sister Janet was also closely associated with and actively a part of the Overseas Ministries Studies Center (OMSC) at Yale University, a vibrant, international and ecumenical community from 1980-2010.

In 2014, Sister Janet received the American Missiology Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition for serving the people of Taiwan and China since 1956.

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Janet on Monday, June 3rd, 2019 at 4:15 p.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at Maryknoll Sisters Center. 

A Mass of the Resurrection will follow on Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. also in the Main Chapel at the Sisters Center.

Interment will follow in the Maryknoll Sisters cemetery.

Sister Mary Naab, Maryknoll Sister for 78 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Mary Gertrude Naab, M.M. missioner and social worker died on May 17th, 2019 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 97 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 78 years. She was born in Passaic, NJ on November 27th, 1921 to Grace (Donovan) Naab and Joseph Naab. She had two sisters, Peggy and Patricia. She is survived by her sister Patricia.

In 1938, Mary graduated from St. John Cathedral High School in Paterson, NJ. After graduating, she began her college studies at Seton Hill College in Greensburg, PA until 1940. She then entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Maryknoll, NY on July 2nd, 1940. At her Reception she received the religious name, Sister Grace Mary. She made her First Profession of Vows on March 7th, 1943 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY. After completing her novitiate, she was sent to study at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology in 1944.

Sister Mary then received her first mission assignment to Hawaii, where she made her Final Profession of Vows on March 7th, 1946. When she first arrived to the island she worked as a case worker at the Catholic Social Services in Honolulu and then as Executive Secretary and Supervisor until 1950. During this time, she also attended the University of Hawaii Graduate School of Social Work, where she earned a certificate in Social Casework.

In 1954, Sister Mary was assigned to Stockton, CA to develop the Catholic Social Services in that Diocese. There, she served as Executive Secretary and Supervisor until 1960. She then served as Survey Director of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, CA. At that time, Sister Mary also enrolled at the University of California in Berkeley, CA earning the positions of Medical Social Worker at Stanford/Palo Alto Hospital and as a Psychiatric Social Worker at Langley – Porter Neuro Psychiatric Institute, San Francisco, CA.

For the next several years, Sister Mary served between New York and Hawaii in many different roles. In 1962 she returned to Honolulu, HI to continue to serve as Executive Secretary and Supervisor. She also served as Chairman of the Hawaii Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers until 1969. She was then appointed as Superior of the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY. Returning to Hawaii once again, Sister Mary served as the Planning Coordinator for the Diocese of Honolulu as a member of the Board of Education until 1971. From 1971-1975, she worked as the Unit Administrator for Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Centers situated on five Hawaiian Islands. At the same time, she served as a member of the Sisters Regional Governing Board and Regional Planning Coordinator.

From 1988-1992, Sister Mary was appointed as Co-Personnel Director for the Sisters and Lay Employees at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll NY. She was then invited by Bishop J. Quinn Weitzel, M.M. to the U.S. territory of American Samoa, to help facilitate the development of Catholic Social Services in the Diocese of Samoa-Pago Pago from 1993-1997.

In 1997, Sister Mary was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters retirement house in Monrovia, CA where she did volunteer work at Santa Anita Family Service. In 2006, she was awarded a certificate as American Senior of the Year for her volunteer work there.

In 2007, Sister Mary returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll NY where she fully retired.

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Mary on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 4:15 p.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at Maryknoll Sisters Center.

A Mass of the Resurrection will follow on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. also in the Main Chapel at the Sisters Center.

The interment will follow in the Maryknoll Sisters cemetery on the Center grounds.

Sister Genevieve Tresa Zampedri, Maryknoll Sister for 71 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY — Sister Genevieve Tresa Zampedri, M.M. died on May 11th, 2019 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, New York. She was 89 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 71 years.

Velia Elena was born in Rupert, Idaho on October 15th, 1929 to Angela (Steneck) Zampedri and Joseph Zampedri; she had eight siblings. She is survived only by her brother Duane Zampedri.

In 1947, Velia graduated from Rupert High School in Rupert, Idaho. She then entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Valley Park, MO (from St. Nicholas Parish in Rupert) on October 31st, 1947. At her Reception ceremony, she received the religious name Sister Genevieve Tresa.  Sister Genevieve made her First Profession of Vows on May 8th, 1950, in Valley Park and her Final Profession of Vows in Bolivia on the same day in 1953.

She was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, New York after making her First Profession of Vows, where she studied dietetics and earned an Associate of Arts Degree from Westchester Community College in 1952. Sister Genevieve then received her first overseas mission assignment to Bolivia after earning her degree, there she studied language for six months. After language study, she worked at the hospital in Riberalta as a dietician, she also taught in the grade school and high school in San Jose.

In 1961, Sister Genevieve returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, New York where she studied part-time at Maryknoll Teachers College and gave service working in various departments where help was needed: the kitchen, housekeeping, nursing home, portress, laundry and infirmary.

From 1974-1981, she joined the U.S. Mission Region and moved to Monrovia, California to the Maryknoll Sisters Retirement home; there she assisted the elderly Sisters. In 1982, Sister Genevieve returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, New York due to health needs, but still remained an active volunteer around the center. In 2006, she fully retired.

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Genevieve on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 4:15 p.m. in the Main Chapel at Maryknoll Sisters Center. 

A funeral Mass will follow on Friday, May 17, 2019 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 Patricia Maher, Maryknoll Sister for 71 Years, Dies

Sister Patricia Ann Maher died on March 27th, 2019 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 92 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 71 years.

Patricia was born in Harrisburg, PA on January 14th, 1927 to Helen Mae (Crist) Maher and Joseph P. Maher. She had two brothers, Gerald and Joseph, all of whom have predeceased her; she is survived by her niece.

In 1945, she graduated from Immaculata High School in Detroit, MI.  After graduation, she worked as a clerk in Saks Fifth Avenue in Detroit and Bell Telephone Co. in Harrisburg.  On October 30th, 1947 Patricia entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Valley Park, MO from St. Francis of Assisi Parish (Diocese of Harrisburg).  At her Reception into the Congregation, she received the religious name Sister M. Joseph Aileen. She made her First Profession of Vows on May 8th, 1950 in Valley Park, MO and her Final Profession on May 8th, 1953 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY.  After Vatican Council II she returned to her baptismal name.

From 1951-1954, while at the Maryknoll Sisters Center she studied at Maryknoll Teachers College, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education.

Sister Patricia received her first overseas mission assignment to the Philippine Islands in 1954. There she served as a high school teacher, teaching a variety of different subjects:  English, Religion and biology in Malabon and in Datu Piang.  She was then transferred to Lucena where she served as principal in both the elementary school and high school for the next 14 years.

In 1968, Sister Patricia returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY to attend courses in adult education, group dynamics and psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi.  After completing the courses, she conducted a study in the Medical Center Outpatient Department at Presbyterian University in Pennsylvania; the study focused on community relations with minority groups. From 1969-1971, Sister Patricia served as Director of the Community Relations Department at Presbyterian University.  In 1971, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY to serve as Director of the Development Department until 1974.

Sister Patricia’s next overseas assignment was to Central America where she served in the El Salvador/Nicaragua/Panama Region from 1974-1979, there she worked with young adults at the Urban Leadership Training Center.  She also engaged in pastoral work in a housing development colony for 1,200 poor families. Sister Patricia then returned to the U.S. for family ministry, during this time she did pastoral work in the Diocese of Harrisburg among Spanish speaking people from 1980-1992.

From 1993-1997, Sister Patricia was assigned to Bangladesh. there she did tutoring in conversational English with students at the University of Dhaka. It was her hope to gather together a group of students: Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian who could work together interested in pursuing interreligious dialogue in the University.

In 1998 she was assigned to Bolivia, there she served as a tutor in conversational English with college students at San Simon University until 2002.

In 2002, Sister Patricia returned to the U.S. and joined the U.S. Eastern Region of the Congregation.   She lived in Arlington, VA and did volunteer work at the Arlington County Detention Facility and Arlington Hospital, visiting the patients.  She then retired to the Maryknoll Sisters retirement house in Monrovia, CA in 2008, but returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY in 2012, due to declining health.

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Patricia at 6:00 p.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation on Monday, April 1, 2019 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.

A funeral Mass will follow on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 7:00 a.m. also in the Main Chapel at the Center. Interment will follow in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.

 

Sister Maria Colabella, Maryknoll Sister for 40 Years, Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Maria Colabella died on March 19th, 2019 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY.  She was 78 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 40 years.

Maria was born on May 9th, 1940 in Brooklyn, NY to Emelia (Luongo) Colabella and Pasquale Colabella. She had two sisters, Sister Jaqueline Marie, SSND and Geraldine De Luca. Her parents and sisters have all predeceased her.

In 1957, Maria graduated from St. Brendan’s Diocesan High School in Brooklyn, NY. After graduating, she attended Long Island College Hospital School of Nursing in NY where she earned an R.N. diploma in 1960.  She then continued her education and attended St. John’s University in Queens, NY where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in 1964.

From 1965-1967, Maria worked with the Catholic Medical Mission Board in Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria as a Nursing Instructor and Supervisor at Maria Assumpta Hospital. In 1968, she joined the Papal Volunteers for Latin America (volunteer Catholic lay missionaries committed to pastoral and social work in Latin America for short-term service).  In preparation for a new assignment, she attended the Catholic University of Puerto Rico for three months to learn Spanish.  Maria was then assigned as Nursing Instructor at the Universidad Santa Maria in Arequipa, Peru for four years. She also worked as a public health nurse and pastoral worker in Chimbote, Peru in association with the Dominican Sisters from Columbus, Ohio for two years.

On September 2nd 1978, Maria entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Maryknoll, NY. She made her First Profession of Vows on June 28th, 1980 and her Final Vows on May 22nd, 1988. She graduated from the Maryknoll Seminary with a Master of Arts Degree in Theology (Religious Studies) on May 27th, 1988.

In 1981, Sister Maria received her first mission assignment to Ocotal, Nicaragua where she worked in healthcare and did pastoral work in basic Ecclesial Communities.  From 1982-1983, she gave Congregational Service at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY in the Nursing Home, Center Health Unit and in the Communications Department.  In February of 1983, Sister Maria applied for Family Ministry to be near her ill father.  During this time, she also worked at Transfiguration Parish in Brooklyn, NY, working in health programs, counseling for Salvadoran refugees and Hispanic teens.

In 1986, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY for health reasons and renewal (period of rest/relaxation at home for Maryknoll Sisters on mission) until 1988.

In 1989, Sister Maria returned to the Peru/Ecuador Region, however, her health issues necessitated her return to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY in 1990.

From 1991-2014, she began a ministry in the Brooklyn Diocese and the New York Archdiocese among multicultural communities, until she retired.

A Vespers Service will be held on Monday, March 25th, 2019 in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY.                                     

The Liturgy of Christian burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, March 26th, 2019 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 Paulita Hoffman, Maryknoll Sister for 85 Years, Dies

Maryknoll, NY-Sister Mary Paulita Hoffman died on March 14th, 2019 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 104 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 85 years.

Mary Rose Hoffmann was born in Cincinnati, OH on August 13th, 1914 to Mary (Dumont) Hoffman and Oscar Hoffman. She was the youngest child in a family of eight children: four sons and three daughters. Her four brothers: John, Oscar-Jacob, Joseph and Oscar-Michael and her three sisters: Marie, Sr. Mary Eileen (Lorraine) and Margaret have all long ago predeceased her.

In 1932, Mary Rose graduated from Our Lady of the Angels High School in St. Bernard, OH and attended The Atheneum-a Catholic institution for Christian formation of priests and laity.  She also was a swimming instructor, Red Cross volunteer and worked in an office.

She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY on June 4th, 1933 from Sacred Heart Parish (Cincinnati Archdiocese).  At her Reception she received the religious name, Sister Mary Paulita, which she retained throughout her religious life. Sister Paulita made her First Profession of Vows on January 6th, 1936 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY. After making her First Vows, she served as Assistant Novice Mistress until 1938, when she received her first overseas mission assignment to China. She made her Final Vows on January 6th, 1939 in Kaying, China.

After language study in 1938, Sister Paulita’s work was in direct evangelization, catechesis, pastoral visiting and native novitiates until 1950, when she was placed under house arrest by the new Communist government. After two years, when Bishop Ford died in the Guangdong prison on February 21st, 1952, (presumed date), Sister Paulita was freed and expelled from China. She went to Hong Kong for a short period and then returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY for medical attention. The lack of food during her period of confinement required an emergency operation and treatment. After a long period of recovery, Sister Paulita worked in the Maryknoll Sisters Promotion Department until 1954.

Sister Paulita loved China and the Chinese, and after her recovery in 1954, she was one of the first Sisters assigned to Taiwan. When she had first gone to China, Sister had learned the Hakka language so she chose to go to the Miaoli Deanery for her ministry. Sister first served in Nan Chuang Parish, but lived with other Sisters in the Toufen Convent. This was no problem for Sister since she traveled back and forth every day on her motorcycle! Paulita worked for over 50 years with the Hakka and Aboriginal peoples in Taiwan. She was rewarded for this long and faithful service with a certificate of Permanent Residency making her a citizen of Taiwan.

From 1954 until 2004, Sr. Paulita lived and worked in Taiwan doing a variety of pastoral-catechetical works in a number of parishes in Toufen in Miaoli County, Fenglin in Hualien County and Tungshih in Taichung County.  Among other skills, she was an artist with a keen eye for unique pieces of wood.  Despite the fact that her right hand had been severely crushed in a laundry mangle while she was still a novice, over the years she carved beautiful wood crucifixes from interesting branches she collected on her many mission trips into the mountains of the Miaoli area.

All was not always serene in Taiwan. Sister Paulita relates how she survived a number of earthquakes like the one that claimed some 2,000 lives in September of 1999.  She was at the epicenter of the quake in Tungshih. For three days the Sisters in Taiwan did not know if she had survived.  When they finally made contact with her, she chose to remain for several weeks with the people in Tungshih, sleeping with them on the floor of the parish church – one of the few buildings in town that had remained unscathed.

In 2004, Sister Paulita returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY where she continued to serve her community in various positions until 2012 when she retired. Sister Paulita made it to the remarkable age of 104 years old, despite being placed under house arrest by the Communist Regime, being a victim of a freak accident which left her with a severely crushed hand, and surviving several earthquakes in Taiwan!

A Vespers service will be held for Sister Paulita on Monday, March 18th, 2019 at 4:15 p.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.

A Mass of Christian Burial will follow on Tuesday, March 19th, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., also in the Chapel of the Annunciation. Interment will follow in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.

 

Sister Bernadette Shigeko Higa, Maryknoll Sister for 68 Years, Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Bernadette Higa died on March 12th, 2019 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 93 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 68 years.

Shigeko was born in Kaupakalua, Maui, Hawaii on October 12th, 1925 to Kame (Miyashiro) Higa and Ushi Higa. She had two brothers and seven sisters.  One brother and three sisters have predeceased her. She was very close to her Sister Mary Louise, who is also a Maryknoll Sister and an active member of the Congregation today. Shigeko became interested in the Catholic Faith in eighth grade, she was baptized as Bernadette on August 14th, 1943 at Sacred Heart Church in Honolulu, Oahu.

She attended Maui High School for one year, McKinley High School in Honolulu for two years and Maryknoll High School in Honolulu for two years, graduating in 1945. Together, Bernadette and her sister Mary Louise studied at St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing in Honolulu, from 1946-1949, and both became Registered Nurses.

From 1949-1950, Bernadette worked at St. Francis Hospital. She then entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate with her sister, Mary Louise in Valley Park, MO on February 1st, 1951 from St. Stephen’s Parish in Honolulu. At her Reception, she received the religious name Sister Marie Bernadette. She made her First Profession of Vows on September 8th, 1953 in Valley Park, MO and spent the rest of the year working in the Outpatient Clinic at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. In 1954, Bernadette was assigned to Queen of the World Hospital in Kansas City, MO; while there she made her Final Vows on September 8th, 1959.

After making her Final Vows, she was assigned to Taiwan, there she began her mission with language study. From 1960-1972, Sister Bernadette worked with indigenous people in a pre and post-natal clinic, well baby clinic and held nutrition classes in Taiwan.

In 1973, Sister Bernadette returned to St. Francis Hospital in Honolulu for a refresher course in general nursing.  She then studied at Chaminade College in Honolulu from 1973-1976, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies.

After doing Congregational Service at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY from 1976-1978, Sister Bernadette was assigned to the Congregation’s new mission project in Bangladesh. While waiting for her visa to Bangladesh, she returned to Honolulu and worked in a Surgeon’s clinic for one year. In Bangladesh, she was involved in Natural Family Planning for three years. In 1984, she returned to Hawaii to serve as an Assistant Chaplain at Hawaii State Hospital. She also studied Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), counseled patients in a mental hospital and provided religious services until 1994.

Sister Bernadette returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY where she worked as a clerk/typist in the Admissions Office until 1997. She then returned to Hawaii once again to do volunteer work in the Regional Office, visit the sick at their homes and in the hospital.

In 2006, Sister Bernadette retired at the Sisters retirement house in Monrovia, CA where she remained until 2011; she then returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY due to declining health. She remained at the Sisters Center until the time of her death.

Sister Bernadette died on March 12th, 2019 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY. She was accompanied by her loving sister Mary Louise at the time of her death.

Sister Bernadette will be cremated.

A Vespers Service will be held  on Tuesday, March 26th, 2019 at 4:15 p.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at Maryknoll Sisters Center.

A Funeral Mass will follow on Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. also in the Main Chapel at the Center.