“I am tremendously grateful to God, to Maryknoll, to everyone and everything that has brought me to the present moment and I know will support me to the end.”
Sister Irene Solzbacher, born in Luxemburg City, spent more than thirty years serving the poor and needy in Hawaii as a teacher, catechist, and psychiatrist, always seeking to make God’s love visible to those in need.
Entering Maryknoll in 1953, Sister Irene began work at the Maryknoll Center laundry before earning her Bachelor of Education at Maryknoll Teachers College and setting out for Hawaii. There she taught algebra, biology, chemistry, physics, and religion for the next ten years.
Sister Irene also worked as a research assistant and a catechist. She studied for her M.E. in Physical Science at the University of Hawaii.
In 1975, Sister Irene earned her Medical Degree at the University’s John A. Burns School of Medicine. She then began a three year Psych. Residency and worked as a Psychiatrist at a Mental Health Clinic until she became the Director of Kahumana Counseling Center.
Sister Irene loved her work here – the place, which was a farm and a resource center for the mentally ill, was pervaded by a serene sense of the dignity and humanness of those it served – and so it was with sadness that she returned to the Maryknoll Center in 1995.
Sister Irene continued to dedicate herself with love and cheerfulness in her new role as Social Service Director for the next five years.
Since 2000, Sister Irene has remained a devoted, active member of the Maryknoll Community, and her prayer ministry is United Nations-Maryknoll Sisters vs. human trafficking.