Sister Isabel da Costa Araujo, M.M.
Current Ministry Location-Brazil
A bubbling, enthusiastic fountain of joy is how most describe Sister Isabel; she is the first woman from East Timor in the South Pacific to become a Maryknoll Sister!
She is especially excited that her first ministry assignment with Maryknoll is located in Brazil “My brother speaks Portuguese,” she explained, “and while I was visiting the Philippines once, I met two people from Brazil. I prayed, “Lord, please send me to Brazil.” And now I am saying “Thank you! You really did hear my prayers!”
Sister Isabel had been drawn to the religious life since she was a teenager. Her work with the Maryknoll Sisters in the 1990’s only intensified that desire. Then several Sisters, particularly Sister Susan Gubbins, MM, began to inquire about her plans. Feeling an increasing “energy” inside her when she considered the matter, the still young woman said to herself “Why not?”
Prior to entering Maryknoll, Sister Isabel was a pastoral worker from 1991 to 2003 at the Brothers and Sisters in Christ Institute in East Timor “dedicated to empowering the poor to be self-reliant by developing cottage industries and agriculture, as well as spiritual growth”. She also taught reading and math at the institute, working to mainstream them into the regular school systems. During that time, she worked closely with the Maryknoll Sisters helping the disabled find their place and voice in society through integral development. She worked with a man in a wheelchair to be able to make wheelchairs, tricycles and special shoes for the disabled.
Sister Isabel entered Maryknoll on August 2009 and made her First Vows in 2011. She was assigned to Brazil in 2012.
Presently Sister Isabel is preparing to make her Final Vows in 2018.