Sister Bitrina Kirway, M.M.
Current Ministry Location: Hawaii
Sister Bitrina was born May 9th, 1960 in Nangwa, Hanan’G Arusha, Tanzania to Margarita Alois and Joseph Kirway;he has six sisters and two brothers. Sister Bitrina graduated from Nangwa Girls Secondary School in Arusha in 1980. She then attended Monduil Teachers Training College in Arusha and graduated in 1981, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science in 1987.
Sister Bitrina entered the Congregation from Nangwa Mbulu Diocese Tanzania on August 21st, 1988. She pronounced First Vows October 21st, 1990 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY and her Final Vows May 23rd, 1999 in Hawaii. Before entering the Congregation, Sister Bitrina taught for six years in various primary schools and in adult education programs in Tanzania. In addition, she studied English and third-world theologies at Sally Oak College in Birmingham.
In 1991, Sister Bitrina was assigned to the Central Pacific Region. She arrived in Hawaii to work as a Pastoral Associate and Director of Religious Education at St. Rita’s Parish in Nanakuli. She also served as an advocate for abused women and children for the Child & Family Services and Outreach Program at the Leeward Shelter from 1996 – 1997. This led her to advocate for victims of domestic violence and to teach ways to prevent it.
During this time in Hawaii, Sister Bitrina also worked at the YMCA of Honolulu. As a Family Services Coordinator she supports families in need.
In 2000, Sister Bitrina earned a Bachelor of Social Work Degree from the Hawaii Pacific University. In addition, she served as the Program Director for Communities in Schools in Hawaii. The program strengthens families and communities with special attention to the disproportionate minority in all risk categories of education, economics, social, health and culture especially in Waipahu and the Leeward Coast of Oahu. As a Certified Trainer for Ohana Management System (OMS), she provided culturally coherent training of the Ohana system and mentorship for community leaders and provided opportunities for Marshallese families by fostering healthy and safe environments.