Sister Bibiana Bunuan

Current Ministry Location: Tanzania

Sister Bibiana, from Tagudin, Ilocos Sur in the Philippines, entered Maryknoll in 1965.  Upon entering, she had already earned her BS in nursing from St. Paul College, Manila.

Sister Bibiana started her mission work in Datu Piang, Philippines, where she initiated health programs for the rural areas. In addition, she also helped form Christian communities.  Sister Bibiana moved to Cotabato City, where she taught at Notre Dame University and started the community extension program for students and OMI seminarians.  She continued her education and earned her MS in anthropology and sociology from Ateneo University in Manila.

In 1983, Sister Bibiana was assigned to Arusha, Tanzania, where she worked with community-based health programs for preventive medicine and women’s development. Soon after, she joined the Diocesan Health Program.  In 1988, she was one of the first Sisters who moved to Kalebejo in the Geita Diocese, where they started Project VEMA.  This project was an integrated approach to education, development, and health to bring about wholeness and well-being of people living and working in Tanzanian villages.

Sister Bibiana returned to Maryknoll Sisters Center in 1991 and gave Congregational Service to the senior Sisters, followed by work in the Promotion department.  In 1997, Sister Bibiana returned to the Philippines where she worked in a squatter area helping street children.

Sister Bibiana went to Namibia in 2004, where she collaborated with the PEACE Center, an NGO which was started by the Quakers of South Africa.  They went into villages and gave seminars using alternatives to violence techniques.  She also worked with the BIG ISSUE –Magazine an NGO that worked with street people giving awareness programs.  Furthermore, she wrote articles relevant to social issues in the Magazine.  In 2012 after the Sisters completed their work in Namibia, Sister Bibiana returned to Maryknoll, NY working again with our senior Sisters.  She is famous for her many poems sparked by her wide mission experiences.  She is truly one of our “poets in residence.”

In 2014, Sister Bibiana returned to Tanzania where she is currently still on mission.  She has been involved there in a variety of ministries, such as teaching in the seminary, giving workshops to Religious Sisters during their sabbatical leaves, as well as doing parish work.