Current Ministry Location-Maryknoll Sisters Center
Sister Antoinette (Nonie) Gutzler has lived and worked beyond the frontiers of her native land for a significant period of her life.
Sister Nonie was born in Brooklyn, NY, and she entered Maryknoll in 1964. After receiving her B.A. in Theology from Mundelein College in Chicago in 1971, Sister Nonie was missioned to Tanzania, East Africa. In Mwanza, her ministry was multi-faceted—high school religious education, work with the Young Catholic Students movement, and co-directing a center for students to meet the needs of a growing population of young people away from home for studies.
In 1975, Sister Nonie was asked to return to the United States to do mission education and promotion in the New England area for two years: talking in churches, schools, women’s guilds, and other places. Sister Nonie was enthusiastic about the experience saying, “I really loved it. I’d been out of touch with the Church in America. I liked sharing what I had experienced in mission and I realized that these were the people who sent me.”
In 1978, Sister Nonie was assigned to Taiwan and began the challenges of learning a new culture and new languages —Mandarin and Taiwanese! She was the director of the Solidarity Workers Center in Kaohsiung. The center, begun by the Maryknoll Sisters, provided a place where factory workers could meet friends, find support and guidance for the direction of their lives, and learn leadership skills to help engage the changing situation of workers in Taiwan.
Sister Nonie served as Personnel Director of the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation from 1989 to 1993. Those years were significant ones for her as she touched “holy ground” in her work with Maryknoll Sisters either going to or returning from their mission areas.
In 1995, Sister Nonie received her M.A. in Systematic Theology from Fordham University in New York and her Ph.D. in 2001. During her time at Fordham, Sister Nonie was a graduate assistant and research assistant to Dr. Elizabeth Johnson SSJ, and also a full-time teaching fellow.
In 1997, Sister Nonie gave a series of lectures in Hong Kong and Taiwan on Christology. While in the Holy Land, she also led a spiritual renewal program.
In the fall of 2001, Sister Nonie returned to Taiwan to engage in the exciting work of theological education in a variety of ways: teaching, giving retreats, and parish Scripture sharing groups. She also was involved in spiritual direction and group facilitation.
Sister Nonie is a committee member of the Ecclesia of Women in Asia, a gathering of Asian women theologians. In 2008, Sister Nonie was invited to give a talk to the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference, and spoke on “Enabling Women: Gender in the Context of Church Documents.”
In 2014, Sister Nonie was elected President of the Congregation.