“Since religious life is vitally concerned with the integral development of people, there is no end to the possibilities of works that need to be done. My contacts with people have become more involved with the everyday life they lead.”
The health cares and concerns of the Bolivian people, particularly those in remote regions of the country, have been at the heart of Sister Carol Hassey’s work as a nurse missioner with Maryknoll Sisters.
Born in Columbus, OH, Sister Carol was already an RN with a Bachelor in Nursing when she entered Maryknoll in 1956, with six years of nursing experience under her belt. As a result, soon after entering, she began work in the Maryknoll Sisters Center infirmary, caring for the health needs of other members of the congregation.
Then, in 1960, Sister Carol received an appointment to care for the sick and injured at Queen of the World Hospital, Kansas City, MO. Queen of the World was one of the first interracial hospitals in the United States, and Sister Carol took to the work with the passion and enthusiasm, as well as excellence, that would mark her work in all the years ahead. Sister Carol was Nursing Supervisor at Queen of the World, as well as a member of the nursing staff and clinical instructor, from 1960-1966, through the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. They were challenging days and the work never ceased to stir Sister Carol with its importance.
Later in 1966, Sister Carol received her appointment to Bolivia, where, after completing her language studies, she taught nursing at the Maryknoll Sisters’ Hospital in Riberalta, while also serving as chairperson of the congregation’s Bolivia Regional Governing Board from 1969 to 1971. She then moved to Santa Cruz where she continued to provide nursing services, this time to underdeveloped rural people in the region, until 1976. During the latter half of this period, Sister Carol also supervised a clinic and taught health and nursing classes.
Then, in 1981, Sister temporarily returned to the U.S. so that she could earn her M.S. in Psychology at Notre Dame College, Loyola University. She returned to Bolivia three years later, serving as the House Administrator for Sisters in the area. Then, in 1987, Sister Carol was appointed Director of the Orientation Program at the Language Institute in Cochabamba, where she herself had studied twenty-five years ago. Sister continued in this role until 1999, when she returned to the Maryknoll Center, first as the Renewal Coordinator and then as the Rogers Coordinator and the Records Clerk in Out Patient Care.
Since her retirement in 2006, Sister Carol has remained an active volunteer and a loving member of the Maryknoll Center community.