Sister Jeri Stokes

jstokes_lgSister Jeri Stokes
Current Ministry Location – Tanzania

Jeri Stokes was born March 4, 1936 in Long Beach, CA to Marjorie (Dawson) Stokes and Frank T. Stokes. Jeri had two brothers: Alan and Paul. She graduated from Jordan High School, Long Beach, CA in 1954. Jeri earned a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education from San Jose State University, San Jose, CA in 1958.

Jeri Stokes entered the Maryknoll Sisters February 3, 1960 at the novitiate in Valley Park, MO. She professed First Vows August 22, 1962 at Valley Park and Final Vows August 22, 1968 in California. Her first assignment was to attend classes at Mary Rogers College, Maryknoll, NY.

Sister Jeri’s first overseas mission assignment was to Hawaii in 1963. There she taught in primary and secondary schools in Punahou and Kalihi until 1968.

In 1969, Sister was assigned to Bolivia to study Spanish in preparation for her second mission country, Peru, where she lived in Puno and taught English as a second language.

In 1970 she was assigned to the Mexico/Guatemala Region. In Colegio Rogers, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico, she taught physical education and organized sports clubs for students from fifth grade to second year college. Later she facilitated home industries and weaving cooperatives for women in Yucatán. In San Pedro, Sacatepequez, Guatemala, she continued leadership training of rural women’s groups.

In 1978, Sister Jeri received a Diploma in Photography from the School of Modern Photography, Little Falls, NJ.

In 1983 she was assigned to Musoma, Tanzania where she taught religious education in the Musoma and Mara high schools briefly as well as being a member of the Musoma Diocesan Communications Office. She was also photographer on the Emusoi Center Compound and Web Site maintenance. She continued to work in education, communications and media. Sister Jeri explained that her work was to put into balance, words and photos to picture the struggles, hopes, sharing, and happiness of the people with whom we work and share life.

Returning to the Maryknoll Center in NY in 1985, Sister worked in the Communication Office. It was at this time that she honed her skills in photography and writing. She also earned a Master of Arts in Theology from the Maryknoll School of Theology, Maryknoll, NY.

Sister Jeri became the East Africa Region’s videographer and photographer when she returned to Tanzania in 1991. Her ministry goal was to provide a documentary type visual communication to help people appreciate and be involved in the life experiences of the people with whom the Maryknoll Missioners work all over the world. In 1990 she earned a Certificate in Journalism from the Newspaper Institute of America, Mamaroneck, NY.