Sister Marion Phillips, M.M. died on February 26th, 2021 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY. She was born on November 28th, 1934, in Jamaica, New York to Michael Phillips and Mary (Costello) Phillips. She is survived by her twin brother, Rev. Msgr. Michael Phillips of the Brooklyn Diocese, NY.
In 1952, Marion graduated from Our Lady of Wisdom High School, Ozone Park, NY. The following year she attended St. John’s University College, Brooklyn, NY.
On September 2nd, 1953 Marion entered the Congregation (from St. Paschal Baylon Parish, St. Albans, NY). She made her First Profession of Vows on September 8th, 1956 in Valley Park, MO and her Final Profession of Vows on September 8th, 1962 in Japan.
Following her First Profession of Vows, Sister Marion worked at the Maryknoll Sisters Center Donor Relations Office, communicating with donors and recording gifts until she received her first overseas mission assignment to Japan in 1959. There, she studied the Japanese language and culture in Kyoto and Ueno until 1969, then began teaching English and catechism in Ise Shi.
In October of 1969, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY to join the Maryknoll Sisters Cloister (presently known as the Contemplative Community). This prayer group is a very important part of the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation, which became a reality in 1932 and continues strong today. She committed to the contemplative way of life; which is simple, rooted in mission, and focused on prayer for those in active ministries and the needs of the world. The group mainly resides at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY, but also has sub-division houses across the globe where the Sisters are missioned.
From 1972-1984, Sister Marion relocated to Gallup, NM to join the Contemplative Community Group there and served as a prayer presence near the Navajo Nation. While there, she served as the Coordinator of the Gallup Contemplative Group and as a Regional Governing Board Member from 1979-1983. During that time, she also attended Kawai Art School, CA to study oriental brush painting and traveled to India to participate in an East-West dialogue on prayer and spirituality.
In 1985, Sister Marion returned to the Contemplative Community, Maryknoll, NY to serve as Coordinator for the group until 1990.
Her mission journey then took her to Thailand, to join the Contemplative Community there and study the language and culture. In 1992, she returned to the Contemplative Community, Maryknoll, NY where she remained until once again being assigned to Thailand in 2004. Sister Marion spent the next eight years as part of a collaborative contemplative prayer presence (with another Maryknoll Sister, Ursaline Sisters and Thai Jesuits) at Santi Wana Ashram, an Ecological Center among Buddhists and Christians.
In 2013, Sister Marion returned to the Contemplative Community, Maryknoll, NY.
A Memorial Service for Sister Marion will be held on March 5th, 2021 and livestreamed from the Annunciation Chapel at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY. Interment in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery will follow.