Sister Imelda Bautista, M.M.
Current Ministry Location – Philippines
Sister Imelda was born in Cabanatuan City, Philippines. She graduated from the University of the East with a BBA degree in 1961 and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1962. Sister Imelda worked for an auditing firm in Manila and taught part-time at the University of the East before entering the Maryknoll Sisters in 1965 and making her First Profession of Vows in 1968. She was appointed Chief Accountant of Maryknoll College while waiting for her mission assignment and visa to serve abroad.
In January 1970, Sister Imelda was assigned to Tanzania. For one semester, she taught at Shinyanga Commercial Institute and transferred to Mwanza’s Nyegezi Social Training Institute (now St. Augustine University), where she served as head of accountancy and was Dean of Business Studies until 1979. Sister Imelda earned her MBA from the University of the Philippines in Quezon City in 1981.
She then returned to Tanzania and became Lecturer in the Faculty of Commerce and Management at the University of Dar es Salaam.
In 1984, at the 12th General Assembly of the Maryknoll Sisters held every six years, Sister Imelda was elected to serve as one of the five members of the Central Governing Board. After completing her term in 1991, she did a post-graduate diploma in social development at the Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Sister Imelda returned to the University of Dar es Salaam in 1992 and was glad to find some of her former students were already instructors. One of them assisted her in developing accounting materials and later published a Financial Accounting textbook adapted for Tanzania.
In 1994, Sister Imelda was among the three Maryknoll Sisters to open a new mission in Namibia. She was well prepared to accept the invitation to become the National Education Coordinator for Catholic Schools under the Bishops’ Conference of Namibia. In 1995, she founded the Christian Teachers’ Guild “to give guidance, promote and build-up the image of and lifestyle of truly Christian teachers.” She also started the Tertiary Catholic Students’ Association of Namibia in 1997. She was also involved with the National Committee on Early Childhood Development, which overseas government policy on early childhood development in Namibia. In 1999, Sister Imelda was appointed by the President of Namibia, Sam Nujoma, to be part of a 12-member Commission on Education, Culture and Training. This Commission’s task was to evaluate the education system in the 10 years since independence and to make recommendations. A study was done and the Commission’s report was submitted to the President.
In 2004, Sister Imelda returned to Maryknoll Sisters Center to serve as Congregational Treasurer until 2010. In 2011 she happily returned to Namibia to once again be the National Coordinator of Catholic Schools under the Bishops’ Conference until 2015 when the Maryknoll Sisters completed their mission in the country. In 2016, Sister Imelda was assigned to the Philippines where she is currently still on mission.