Sister Barbara Barr

Current Ministry Location: Maryknoll Sisters Center-Maryknoll, NY

Sister Barbara, was born in the Canal Zone of the Republic of Panama and entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation in 1947.  In 1952 she graduated from Maryknoll Teachers Training College and received her first mission assignment to Bolivia.  There she taught in Maryknoll Elementary and Secondary Schools as well as in Peru.  In 1966 Sister Barbara was a principal of a parish Primary School for four years.

In 1970 Sister Barbara was assigned back to the States and did Mission Education work in Texas and Chicago.  When she returned to Bolivia in 1972, she helped turn over the Maryknoll Sisters parish schools to capable lay teachers whom they had been preparing for many years.  With the formal classroom education now in the hands of local Bolivian teachers, she began working with informal groups in the rural areas.  Together they developed a popular (informal) education program for Scripture study groups as well as for groups working for empowerment of women.  Sister Barbara also helped write scripts for Religion classes that were being broadcast on a Primary-School-by Radio Program.  Sister Barbara also wrote a series of booklets which were based on the experiences of the women’s group discussions on discrimination, domestic violence and other effects of patriarchy which affected women’s lives.  In 1988, she continued this ministry by working at CEPRIFEM (Center for Integral Promotion of Rural Women).

Sister Barbara returned to the Maryknoll Center to do Congregational Service in 1990 working in the Communication Department for a year and later served on the Rogers Community Council until she returned to Bolivia in 1994.  There she continued doing pastoral work with women and many different Maryknoll Sisters Regional services.

In 1999, Sister Barbara went back to the Center to give service once again.  This time she worked at the Mail Desk.  She continued to give congregational service at the Center until 2012 when she retired.  She currently resides at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York.