“If it weren’t for Maryknoll, I would not have such a broad vision of what the world is about and what I am about.”
Having served in mission on three continents, North America, Central America and Africa, Sister Jean Yamashiro has continually explored the world through her ministries. With a background in laboratory technology, she has shared this knowledge among others ever since she joined the Maryknoll Sisters on September 5, 1959, from Honolulu, Hawaii.
Sister Jean started as a lab technician in Kansas City’s Queen of the World Hospital in 1963 before being assigned to serve in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. She moved to Jacaltenango in 1966 to be a hospital lab technician while serving on our pastoral team.
In 1977, she relocated back to the United States and a post as recreation director at the Maryknoll Sisters nursing home in New York.
In 1980, Sister Jean took on new mission projects in the Sudan. She first worked as the secretary for the bishop before doing lab work in the Kator dispensary of the Maryknoll Sisters. She also got involved in the children’s malnutrition and feeding program at a tuberculosis ward at a hospital in Jubal.
Serving as the medical coordinator of six clinics in the Archdiocese of Juba, Sister Jean trained helpers and was in charge of getting supplies for the mission. She also worked to care for Ugandan refugees in camps outside of Juba. She also visited women prisoners, teaching them how to write, sew and knit.
In 1993, Sister Jean returned to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, to focus on pastoral work and a medical ministry with HIV/AIDS patients. She prepared and trained HIV/AIDS health promoters, and that eventually led to her work with parish priests and religious groups. She offered testing services and information at a clinic covering five dioceses: Quiche, Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango, San Marcos and Solola.
“You have to work and be where the people are at,” said Sister Jean.
Sister Jean currently resides at the Maryknoll Sisters Convent in Monrovia, CA, where she is an active member of the Community.