Sister Jareen Franco Aquino

Current Ministry Location: Tanzania 

In our first glimpse of Sister Jareen, in 2008, she danced a beautiful Filipino dance down the aisle of the main chapel for her welcome ceremony, and then told us why she came!  Sister Jareen’s creativity, reflective spirit and humor have gifted her community and her ministries ever since.

On August 15th, 2010, at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York, Sister Jareen made her First Profession of Vows as a Maryknoll Sister, committing her life in service to the universal mission of Jesus and the Church.  She was surrounded by family members, Maryknoll Sisters and friends who responded with their prayer, love and commitment to her.

Sister Jareen was born in Manila, Philippines, but after her father’s death, her family returned to Tacloban City, in the Leyte province, where she finished high school at Sacred Heart.  She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at the University of the Philippines in Tacloban.  In addition, she was certified in education in Diliman, Quezon City and began teaching at Miriam College as a homeroom teacher (formerly Maryknoll College).  Sister Jareen taught Maryknoll history in the Philippines because the Maryknoll Sisters founded, administered and taught in the college from its beginnings.  She also taught Pilipino and Social Studies while pursuing her Master’s Degree in Education.

Already interested in religious life, Sister Jareen began to inquire about Maryknoll as she got to know the Sisters.  She joined the Maryknoll Sisters from St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Cubao, Quezon City, and completed the two- year Maryknoll orientation program in Chicago, IL.  Sister Jareen studied various mission areas, discerning her assignment, before going to Tanzania in January, 2011 after visiting family and friends in the Philippines.

Sister Jareen shared: “It was a Maryknoll poster with hands of different colors holding a globe that first attracted me to the Maryknoll Sisters.”  She went on to say: “Maryknoll’s charism of cross-cultural ministry and community living led me to where I am now, in Tanzania as a teacher.”  Sister Jareen feels that God is calling her “to use my skills as a teacher and thereby be a companion to others as they are to me.”

Sister Jareen made her Final Vows in the Philippines in 2016.  Presently, she continues her mission in Tanzania as a teacher at Emusoi Centre, a Center that provides a safe and supportive place for young women who belong to the pastoralist and hunter-gather communities in Tanzania.  This Center was founded in 1999 and is run by Sister Mary Vertucci, also a Maryknoll Sister.