Sister Connie Krautkremer entered Maryknoll on October 18, 1965, from Montgomery, MN, the year she graduated from St. Catherine’s College in St. Paul, MN, with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Assigned to Tanzania in 1969, she taught young women from the rural areas at Rugambwa Girls School in Bukoba and Nangwa Girls School in Babati. Her appreciation of Tanzanian women, their culture, and the intimate ties they have with nature prompted her to study culture and creation spirituality.
In 1991, Sister Connie returned to Tanzania and for the past ten years has worked with women’s groups to enhance their self-awareness and empowerment skills. Sister Connie was also a member of the Maryknoll Sisters vocation team in Tanzania for over ten years. Early in her mission career, Sister Connie served as secretary to the 1968 General Assembly and has been actively involved in inter-assembly and planning meetings since then.
Sister Connie also was director of the Maryknoll Mission Institute from 1986 to 1990. She was elected as a member of the Maryknoll Sisters’ Congregational Leadership Team in October 2002. She welcomed the challenge of her new leadership role, hoping to continue to find ways for women to connect with women in solidarity, sharing both vulnerabilities and strengths.
“All of us need to reclaim our lost traditions of strong women, heroines whose stories have been overlooked. Women in our Scriptures are models of strength. We can claim those strengths for ourselves, and we can give our gifts to the peoples of the world.”
Having completed her six years in Congregational Leadership, Sister Connie returned happily to Tanzania on June 4, 2009. She discerned a new ministry with the Sisters and agreed with another Sister to open the new mission of Dodoma. Her ministry will be primarily with women and adolescent girls in rural villages, engaging them in topics like self esteem, justice for women, and relationships. Sister Connie will also work with adolescent orphans living with AIDS, offering seminars and religion teaching in the high school they attend. Widowed women living with AIDS is another group with whom she will continue to meet. Sister Connie became co-coordinator of the Rogers Community at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY, in February 2016.