Current Ministry Location – Monrovia, California
Sister Bernadette of St. Gallen-Rossrutti, Switzerland, was an office worker for several companies in her homeland before entering Maryknoll Sisters in 1956 from Wilmette, IL, where she had been working for a family.
Assigned in Korea in 1960, she studied the language, then worked at Maryknoll Hospital, Pusan, South Korea, supervising housekeeping and laundry. She studied at Sacred Heart College for women, Chun Cheon, Kang Wan Do, graduating with a B.A. in Social Work in 1972. Following graduation, she received a scholarship from the Catholic University of America, enabling her to pursue further studies. She graduated in 1974 with an M.A. in Social Work.
Later that year, Sister Bernadette returned to Korea, where she worked as a case supervisor for Holt Children’s Services, an international Christian Adoption agency, until 1979. She then worked with the St. John of God Brothers’ Center for Living, Kwang Ju, as a family counselor for nine years. In 1989, she moved to 3 separate islands off South Korea, where she and another Sister worked with the island people for 6 years to develop a vibrant parish life in the absence of a priest. These efforts resulted in a spread of the Faith to a large number of the island people.
In 2000, Sister Bernadette and two other Maryknoll Sisters were assigned to Nepal where, after studying the language and culture, she served as a pastoral worker at Tansen Christian Hospital, Tansen, Nepal. An illness required her to return to Maryknoll in 2002. One year later, she returned to Korea, where she worked at St. Joseph’s Clinic for homeless people in Seoul.
Sister Bernadette retired in 2009, and lives at the Maryknoll Sisters Residence in Monrovia, CA, where she and other retired members of the Congregation are engaged in volunteer work.