Our foundress, Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, had a passion for mission and the Reign of God. The energy generated by this passion continues in our own mission presence, peace building and reconciliation through dialog. In today’s world filled with violence, chaos and insecurity, I see Maryknoll Sisters continuing to respond with mindfulness and compassion.”
Caring for the sick, in particular those struggling with alcohol and drugs, has been a focal point of Sister Jeanne Rancourt’s work as a missioner nurse who served for 50 years in Chile.
Now residing at Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining, NY, Sister Jeanne entered Maryknoll in 1956, from Woonsocket, RI, the town in which she was born, shortly after graduating from French-speaking Our Lady of the Mountains Academy in Gorham, NH.
Prior to being sent to Chile, she studied at Coady International Institute, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where she received a certificate in Social Leadership in 1965. The Institute is dedicated to training leaders from around the world in principles and practices of a people-based approach to community development.
Her early mission work among the poor in Chile led her into the health field. She became a licensed practical nurse in Chile in 1974 and worked in a community health clinic and rehabilitation center for alcoholics.
She obtained her B.S. in Nursing from Salve Regina College in Newport, RI, in 1989, and on her return to Chile, administered a home for abandoned elderly men and supervised the addition of a wing to accommodate women. She was a counselor in a rehabilitation center for alcoholics.
In 1994, Sister Jeanne was asked to give service at Maryknoll Sisters Center as Co-Coordinator on the local Rogers Council. In October, 2002 she was elected to the Congregational Leadership Team, on which she served for six years. As usual, Sister Jeanne “walked the extra mile” and administered our retreat/renewal house for the summer of 2009, sharing some of her many talents.
Then, with great joy, she returned to her mission in Coelemu, Chile, where she was once again involved in the administration of the abandoned elderly, as well as looking after their health care. She also was involved in pastoral ministries; rehabilitation of alcoholics, both men and women; counseling, formation of lay people, retreats and pastoral work.
Sister Jeanne returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in 2015, following completion of the Sisters’ work in Chile, and the successful turnover of the ministry to local leadership.