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70th Jubilee-Sister Mary Boyce, M.M.

Boyce, MarySister Mary Boyce, M.M. from Flushing, NY will be celebrating her 70th Jubilee this year.

Born in Flushing, NY, Sister Mary entered Maryknoll in 1948. When she received her first mission assignment to the Philippines in 1954, she understood that she would spend her entire life in the Far East. Later the time overseas was changed to ten year periods with renewal programs. She spent twenty-three years in the Philippines teaching in primary and secondary schools, and in pastoral/social work. After earning a Masters in Social Work from Catholic University, Washington, D.C., she established the Family Life Department at the Social Action Center for the Tagum Prelature. For two years she was part of a Maryknoll team of Sisters, priests and lay missioners animating Basic Ecclesial Communities in Venezuela.

In Concord, CA she began as a teacher-counselor for the physically challenged in the East Bay. Presently she collaborates with three parishes as a member of a Mission Outreach Committee; a transition team member and Co-Spiritual Director for St. Vincent de Paul’s Society; in bible reflection and prayer groups of small Christian communities; and continues to collaborate with housing for the homeless. Sister Mary received her Master of Fine Arts from the Academy of Art College, San Francisco, CA, and is a member of the Dominican Institute of the Arts. In 2007 she wrote a true story of twelve Maryknoll Sisters, including herself, and five Filipino men who spent sixteen hours in the shark-infested Mindanao deep sea after their boat capsized. Filipino fishermen rescued them.

For the past three decades, Sister Mary Boyce has been in California involved in ministries ranging from working in an emergency food bank to founding the Stockton Family Shelter to keep homeless families together during a time of emergency and find solutions and alternatives to their problems. She also worked with Western Social Services for immigrants.

Sister Mary Boyce writes and illustrates children’s books. Describing her creative, colorful “Fly Away Flowers” series, she shares that the suggestions from her three and a half year old grandniece, Emily Rose, made the story “theirs.”

In 2013, she was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center where she remains an active volunteer.

70th Jubilee-Sister Mary Grace Krieger, M.M.

Sister Mary Grace Krieger, M.M. from St. Louis, MO will be celebrating her 70th Jubilee this year.

Before joining the Maryknoll Sisters in 1948 from St. Louis, MO, Mary Grace Krieger had earned her B.A. in Education from Harris Teacher College, and taught in the St. Louis public schools. Assigned to the Philippines in 1951, she served ten years as an elementary school teacher in Manila and assistant high school principal in Jimenez.

Her talents were tapped to serve six years as assistant novice mistress in both New York and Topsfield, MA. She received her Masters degree in adult education from Boston University and lived nine years in Roxbury, MA, supervising six community organizers in school and communications programs in African-American areas of Boston.

She also worked with the federation of three parochial schools in the African-American community. These years were her “most complete immersion in another culture….and the active promotion of understanding another culture.” In 1976, she traveled to Nigeria to help Bishop Patrick Ekpu to organize a chancery office and to assist in the formation of a new Nigerian religious community.

In Dallas, TX, Sister Mary Grace was an organizational consultant at an African-American school and coordinator of an education program for the Dallas Association of Mentally Challenged Citizens.

Returning full circle to St. Louis (1980-1990), she ministered as the executive secretary and director of the Catholic Commission of the Handicapped (now the Catholic Office of Disability Ministry), educating for self-determination, inclusion. and understanding.

For five and a half years, Sister Mary Grace served as director of Maryknoll Mission Archives, which she considered a wonderful experience of collaboration.

Sister Mary Grace lived in Yonkers, NY as part of the Eastern Region.  She was active in the Maryknoll Affiliate Group and also Pax Christi.   In 2012, she was assigned to Maryknoll, New York where she continues to be active in Pax Christi and doing projects for the Congregation.

70th Jubilee-Sister Maureen Mitten, M.M.

Mitten, MaureenSister Maureen Mitten, M.M. from Staten Island, NY will be celebrating her 70th Jubilee this year.

Sister Maureen, also known as Moe, is fondly known by her Sisters as living fully a characteristic that Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, encouraged, a saving grace of a sense of humor. Her story of one of her students in Japan, “While I was in the States, she sent a postcard addressed to Sister Maureen, Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery, Maryknoll, NY. The student had copied the address from a postcard of the cemetery! Finally someone tracked me down among the living!”

Sister Moe came to Maryknoll from Staten Island, NY in 1948 and one time on a visit remarked, “This is where I came from—it recalls a lot of wonderful memories but Japan is definitely home now.”

On February 29, 2008, Sister Moe moved into the rectory of the Yamashina Catholic Church, a priestless parish in Kyoto. After Easter Mass, the parishioners organized a celebration to formally welcome her. The choir and Sunday school students sang; kindergarten children danced and a child presented a lovely bouquet to Sister Moe. Her activities range from Introduction to Christ classes for people preparing for Baptism; private lessons for a pregnant mother wishing to be baptized with her new baby; talks on Spirituality and Christian Values for choir members, some of whom are not Catholic but love to sing to God and Talks about God to the kindergarten children aged 3-5 years. Sister Moe also has a Bible Study Women’s Group.

Past experiences serve Sister Moe well in her new ministry. She has been involved in pastoral work in Otsu, Ueno, Hikona and Kyoto. Sister Moe completed her college studies begun at Mary Rogers College at Maryknoll, at Sophia University, Tokyo. She earned a BA in Asian Studies, and worked in the Kyoto diocesan catechetical center for three years. In Yamashina, Sister Moe also continues her professional outreach as an English teacher.

Among other talents, Sister Moe is a licensed bus driver! She has driven mini buses on occasion at Maryknoll, and in Kyoto Sister Moe is one of the drivers for the physically challenged and elderly of the Kohitsuji Kai Group with whom she works.

From 1983 to 1991, Sister Moe was full-time Executive Secretary of AMOR, an acronym for the Asian Meeting of Religious Women, a forum of women religious of Asia and Oceania. In those years AMOR represented over one hundred thousand Women Religious from seventeen nations. Its purpose is to coordinate efforts toward ongoing renewal of religious life with the vision of a world built on justice, peace and universal love. Sister Moe found the work of coordinating the communication between the women of these countries to be a wonderful challenge. Every two years Sister Moe attended an international meeting in one of the countries of the membership.

Sister Moe traveled with companions from Kyoto to Nagasaki for the November 24, 2008 Beatification ceremony of the 188 Japanese martyrs of the 17th Century. “In the procession women dressed in lovely kimonos carried urns containing soil from the respective places where the Christians were executed in various cities throughout the country. These were placed under the altar with some relics. It was very touching, and such an honor to be present.”

This Beatification ceremony was memorable for Sister Moe because of a pilgrimage she made. Every year Japanese Christians and persons of other faiths join a pilgrimage from Kyoto to Nagasaki, walking the entire six hundred miles or doing it in stages over a number of years. Starting in 1988, Sister Moe joined the pilgrimage thirty times over a four year period walking about twenty miles each time. “During my pilgrimage I felt like a farmer…dropping seeds of prayer and physical tiredness…and hoping that the seeds of the Gospel would bloom there some day.”

70th Jubilee-Sister Miriam Francis Perlewitz, M.M.

Perlewitz, Miriam FrancisSister Miriam Francis Perlewitz, M.M. from Valley Park, MO will be celebrating her 70th Jubilee this year.

Entering the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Valley Park, MO, in 1948 from Milwaukee, WI, Sister Miriam Francis made her First Profession of Vows in 1951. She received a B.E. from Maryknoll Teachers College in 1954. Sister Miriam Francis taught Art at the college and then served as an Assistant Novice Mistress and Liturgical Music Director until her assignment to Hong Kong in 1958.

After teaching Music and Biblical Knowledge two years at Maryknoll Convent School, Sister Miriam Francis was assigned to the Philippines to be Assistant Novice Mistress at the Novitiate in Quezon City where women from Asia entered the Maryknoll Sisters. In 1967, Sister Miriam Francis returned to the U.S. for studies, earning her M.A. in Biblical Literature and her Ph.D. with a Major in Biblical Languages and Literature at St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO.

In 1978, Sister Miriam Francis was Co-Director of the Mission Renewal Program to respond to the spiritual, personal and professional needs of returning missioners. She was a Faculty Member of the Maryknoll School of Theology from 1979 to 1991, and it was in her sabbatical year in 1985 that Sister Miriam Francis began teaching Scripture at the National Major Seminary in Dhaka, Bangladesh, rotating six months at the Maryknoll School of Theology and six months in Bangladesh.

In 1992, Sister Miriam Francis was assigned full time to Bangladesh, where she continues to teach at the National Seminary.

However, that same year Sister Miriam Francis also worked with another Maryknoll Sister to offer an environment where women of all religious beliefs afflicted with drug addiction problems could begin a recovery process. Of this experience, she said,  “Many of the women on drugs were beset by poverty, but some were also college graduates, frustrated because they could not obtain positions in professions and businesses in a male-dominated culture.”

After several years, the Sisters changed gears from rehabilitation to prevention through education.

In 1996 they opened the BACHA Education for Life Center in Dhaka which aims to counter drug-addiction with an innovative curriculum of human values, training young women and men as facilitators to do this in secondary schools in several dioceses. BACHA’s training course shows how human values are reinforced by the basic teachings of the great world religions because the majority of students and teachers are Muslim, with a minority of Hindus and Christians. The course given once weekly over three years enables youth to cope with life’s challenges without turning to drugs. This course has expanded to colleges, Sister formation houses and seminaries. A couple of government schools also use the program. BACHA is a Bengali word meaning “to live again,” or “to rise up.”

BACHA is also an English acronym for Bangladesh Alternative Course for Human Advancement. In order to make this successful program self-supporting, in 2001 the two Sisters opened the primary BACHA English Medium School, including nursery and kindergarten, in a lower middle income residential area. Their hopes are that the income will financially support the values education program while incorporating values education at the early stages of development.

70th Jubilee-Sister Patricia O’Mera, M.M.

O'Mera, PatriciaSister Patricia O’Mera, M.M. from Seattle, WA will be celebrating her 70th Jubilee this year.

Sister Patricia was born in Seattle. She attended Holy Names Academy and Seattle University before entering Maryknoll in 1948.

After her first vows in 1951, Sister Pat acquired her Bachelor of Education from Rogers College and was assigned one year later, to mission in Chile. In her first seven years there, Sister taught and did pastoral work.

In 1968, Sister Pat was elected as a delegate for the Maryknoll Sisters’ General Assembly, where she was part of the implementation team, which is responsible for carrying out decisions and changes. It was her responsibility to communicate pertinent information to the whole congregation.

She was assigned to the Western U.S. Region in 1974, where she served in numerous capacities. From 1977 to 1979, Sister Pat attended San Diego State University. For seven years she was an English teacher for Spanish-speaking adults. Since her retirement in 2006, Sister Pat has been a fully participating member of the Maryknoll Eden Community.

70th Jubilee-Sister Rose Andree Krieger, M.M.

Krieger, Rose AndreeSister Rose Andree Krieger, M.M. from St. Louis, MO will be celebrating her 70th Jubilee this year.

Before joining the Maryknoll Sisters in 1948, Sister Rose Andree had earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Harris Teachers College and worked as a teacher in St. Louis, MO. Assigned to Chile in 1951, she was one of the second group of Sisters sent there. After serving happily in parish schools for the poor for two decades, she became involved in training adults in catechetic, and found even greater happiness and a feeling that this perhaps was her forte. With a team of dedicated catechists, including many couples, they developed a real Christian community and assumed more and more responsibility in the parish.

As a veteran missioner she enjoyed a new ministry doing Mission Awareness programs in many parishes and schools in the U.S. In 1993, Sister Rose Andree retired in Waterbury, CT where she engaged in volunteer work for nine years in an Hispanic Parish doing Religious Education in public schools and visiting homes.

Currently, Sister Rose Andree resides at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY and continues to offer her services caring for the sick as a member of the Pastoral Care Team. Throughout her mission journey she has continued to help when and where she can, and also learn from the people she serves.

70th Jubilee-Sister Rose Dominic Trapasso, M.M.

Rose Dominic TrapassoSister Rose Dominic Trapasso, M.M. from Buffalo, NY will be celebrating her 70th Jubilee this year.

Sister Rose Dominic entered Maryknoll on September 6, 1948 from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish, Buffalo, New York. She came with a B.A. in Education from NY State at Albany and an MS in Social Work from the University of Buffalo. She made her First Profession of Vows on March 7, 1951 at Maryknoll, NY and her Final Vows on March 7, 1954 in Bolivia.

Sister Rose Dominic’s first assignment was to Hawaii in 1951 working in Catholic Charities at Nuuanu, Honolulu. In 1953 Sister Rose Dominic was assigned to the Bolivia/Peru and did language study for one year at Cochabamba, Bolivia. In 1954 Sister Rose Dominic was sent to Peru and did social work in Lima. There she met Sister Rose Timothy Galvin in 1962 while working with poor Peruvian families. Both social workers were known as “the Roses” and in 1966 they moved to Caja de Agua in Lima where they were in charge of the administration of the program of social promotion directed to the Lima area until 1971. Caja de Agua was a “model” government housing project to resettle a whole community that had lived for years on the banks of the Rimac River in terrible slum-like conditions. The homes built of cinder block did have water and electricity. With their neighbors, the “Roses” lived on the “margins”. The Sisters visited sectors of the city where prostitutues would be on the street waiting for customers and the Sisters talked to the prostitutes, letting them know of their concern for them as women.

Creatividad y Cambio (Creativity & Change) was a Center started by Sisters Rose Dominic and Rose Timothy, dedicated to promote the human rights of women. The Center produced, published and distributed pamphlets with information on women’s issues and carried out campaigns against sexual exploitation of women. With the collaboration of two other women, they began a center called Movimiento El Pozo (The Well Movement) to work specifically with women involved in prostitution, and where these women could meet to talk about their problems and where they could find solidarity with other prostitutes.

As a women’s rights activist, Sister Rose Dominic estimated that thousands of Latin American women worked in Europe’s sex industry and the traffic had spread to Asia. Unlike voluntary migration, trafficking of persons involved violence, threats of violence or other forms of coercion. She addressed the underlying causes of women’s poverty and inequality and believed that if women were respected and their labor valued the same as men’s, women would not have to resort to prostitution for survival. The need was to eradicate the concept of women as sexual objects and promote women’s personhood.

Sister Rose Dominic also supervised the field work of students from the National and Catholic Social Service schools where she taught. The archbishop asked her, with Sister Janet McConnell, to promote Family and Community Services within the Archdiocesan welfare program of Caritas of Lima.

As a Peruvian citizen, Sister Rose Dominic attended the International Conference on Women in Beijing, sharing with women of over 180 countries the common concerns of women around the world and ways to help one another.

70th Jubilee-Sister Mary Thecla Tsuruda, M.M.

Tsuruda, TheclaSister Mary Thecla Tsuruda, M.M. from blank will be celebrating her 70th Jubilee this year.

Sister Mary Thecla Tsuruda entered Maryknoll on October 14, 1948 from the parish of St. Francis Xavier in Los Angeles, CA. After her mother’s death, the Catholic faith was introduced to her by her sister who was by then three years a convert.  Sister Mary was baptized in 1945 at Manzanar Relocation Center after she finished the required instructions for baptism.

Her first assignment was to Kyoto, Japan in 1953 where Sister Mary immediately started language study and did parish work at Saiin, Takano and Kyoto from 1954 – 1970.  Later at Kyoto, Sister Mary taught English to children and adults from 1971-72, and Adult Education in 1973, also at Kyoto.

Sister Mary’s next assignment was to the Central Pacific Region where she did parish work in Honolulu from 1975-1980 and at the Catholic Social Service Outreach for the Elderly from 1981-1985.  Following Congregational Service at Monrovia (1985-88), Sister Mary returned to Honolulu in 1991 and was a full time worker as Service Aide at the Catholic Charities Services to the Elderly from 1991-1995.

In 2013, Sister Mary returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY to retire.

70th Jubilee-Sister Theresa Lisak, M.M.

Lisak, TheresaSister Theresa Lisak, M.M. from Michigan City, IN will be celebrating her 70th Jubilee this year.

Sister Theresa hails from Michigan City, IN. After two years at St. Francis College in Fort Wayne, she entered Maryknoll in 1948 and completed her B.E. at Maryknoll Teachers College.

In Chile the sisters were asked to work for the education of the very poor. The staffed Catholic schools for the poor in various dioceses and Sister Theresa taught in urban schools for her first 11 years in Chile, getting to know the families and collaborating with parish activities. In the 1960s, she left the formal classroom to live in a marginated area of Santiago working in community development with a community of four Maryknoll sisters. Justice as an integral part of evangelization was stressed and the Church defended human dignity and human life. With courses, meetings and visiting their neighbors, the sisters encouraged the people as they began to solve their own problems, and collaborated with those efforts.

In 1973, Sister Theresa was assigned to the Western US Region and taught English as a Second Language to Spanish-speaking adults in San Diego Community College. She was very active in assisting quite a number of new and old students in obtaining permanent residency under the Amnesty Program during the 1980s. She earned her M.A. in education from San Diego State University. As friendship grew with her students, she helped them with their problems regarding citizenship, employment, social security, et cetera.

Currently, Sister Theresa is part of the Chi-Ro Community at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY.

75th Jubilee-Sister Ann Carol Brielmaier, M.M.

Brielmaier, M. Ann CarolSister Ann Carol Brielmaier, M.M. from St. Louis, MO will be celebrating her 75th Jubilee this year.

Sister Ann Carol Brielmaier, a native of St. Louis, entered Maryknoll in 1943.  A cheerful but reserved young woman with an earnest desire to spread the love of God, she soon found herself setting out for South China and forty-two years of foreign mission.

On arriving in 1947, Sister Ann Carol spent a year studying Cantonese in Wuchow before immersing herself in mission work.  She taught English, sewing, and Gregorian chant to Chinese Sisters at a Maryknoll-associated Novitiate until the Communist government placed her under house arrest in 1949.

It was not until 1951 that Sister Ann Carol and her companions were released into Hong Kong, but that very year, despite all that she had experienced, Sister Ann Carol succeeded in earning her B.A. in Geography and English at Hong Kong University.

In 1955, Sister Ann Carol taught sixth grade for a year before going to the Philippines to continue her studies. The next year, however, she was back in Hong Kong, serving first as the Principal of a girls’ high school and then as the Director of a girls’ hostel.  Sister Ann Carol taught and served as Principal by turns in secondary schools for the next twelve years, returning to the Maryknoll Center at the end of this period to offer Congregational Service as the Hospitality Coordinator.

Sister Ann Carol then spent four years as the Director of a Pastoral Center in Macau, where she sought to help the poor in their struggle to acquire necessary assistance from charities and governmental agencies.

In 1994, Sister Ann Carol returned to the U.S. to work in Maryknoll’s West Coast Promotion Office until her retirement in 2000.  She was an active and cheerful member of the Monrovia Community.

In 2012, Sister Carol Ann returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center for a joyful retirement.