Sister Ann Hayden hails from Louisville, Kentucky, and studied medical technology at Catherine Spaulding College. After entering the Maryknoll Sisters in 1968, she changed her major to nursing and attended Saint Louis University in Missouri, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in nursing and became a registered nurse in 1972.
Sister Ann then worked with the Visiting Nurse Association in East Saint Louis for six months before being missioned to Korea later in 1972. After a year of language study, Sister Ann was assigned to Jeong Pyong in 1973 for a work-study period as a nurse in the Maryknoll Clinic of Jeong Pyong.
After a second year of language study, Sister Ann was re-assigned to Jeong Pyong in 1975 as staff nurse in the clinic and as public health nurse in the clinic’s community outreach health programs, including maternal and child care.
At the end of 1977, Sister Ann returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York for a year of reflection and study in preparation for final vows. During that time, she studied in the core theology program at Maryknoll School of Theology.
When Sister Ann returned to Korea in January 1979, she became a team member of the joint Maryknoll Society and Maryknoll Sisters labor apostolate. The team worked with young women factory workers, giving workshops and offering a safe place and listening ears for them to share their experiences in what was often an abusive workplace.
In 1981, Sister Ann was called home for family ministry, and in 1984, returned to our New York center to serve as the outpatient clinic nurse. In 1985, Sister answered a call to volunteer, with another Maryknoll Sister, for six months of refugee work with Save the Children. She contributed much needed health care in response to the Ethiopian refugee crisis in Sudan.
In 1986, Sister Ann was assigned to Nicaragua. After language study, she began work in Villanueva, Nicaragua, where she helped develop a community-based volunteer health promoter program in the rural communities around the town. She also helped to start a low-cost pharmacy in the community; a community development organization to provide small loans for family economic projects; and a women’s center to promote adult education and skills training for women.
In 1997, Sister Ann transferred to Jinotepe, Nicaragua, and became a member of a mobile, skills-training team that gave adult education community development workshops in villages all across Nicaragua.
In 2001, Sister Ann became the director of nursing services at our residential care center in New York, where she ministered to our elder, frail and infirm Sisters. Sister Ann has many talents, not the least of which is her prowess as a poetess, and as a member of the congregation’s choir, enhancing our many liturgies with her beautiful singing voice.
At a meeting of the Maryknoll Sisters’ General Assembly in 2008, Sister Ann was elected to a six-year term on the Congregational Leadership Team. Read the Congregational Leadership Blog.