Sister Lorraine Beinkafner, M.M.
Current Ministry Location-Maryknoll Sisters Center
Sister Lorraine (Lori) Beinkafner hails from Albany, NY and entered Maryknoll in 1946. She was a member of the Maryknoll Sisters Western Region, she worked as a paralegal at Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center. For the last five years she has been Co-coordinator with another Maryknoll Sister of the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) Program. They help undocumented women in violent domestic situations married to U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents to self petition for their U.S. legal status. The majority of these women come from Mexico and communicate in Spanish. Once their cases are approved they can go on to obtain work authorization cards and are eligible for Residency. Sister Lori also collaborates with the Maryknoll Mission Border Team and with planned exposure groups visiting the Border. She also participates with a spirituality group with other women working on the border.
With more than thirty-five years of Latin American experience as a teacher in Panama, on pastoral teams in Guatemala and in an AIDS prevention team in El Salvador. She delights in remembering her work with women in Guatemala where at the end of one ministry of ten years, there were as many women as men elected to serve their Christian communities. One bishop in Guatemala installed Sister Lori and another Sister as “pastors” of a priestless Indian parish on Lake Atitlan. That unique experience prepared both Sisters for expanded pastoral work in other places.
Before her work at the Border, Sister Lori served for three years as Associate Director of the Maryknoll Sisters Development Department in NY. Presently Sister Lorraine is retired at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.