Sister Luise Ahrens

Current Ministry Location: Maryknoll Sisters Center-Maryknoll, NY

Sister Luise, from Detroit, Michigan, earned her B.A. in English in 1960 from Manhattanville College and within the same year entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation.  She taught at Mary Rogers College and in 1966 earned her M.A. in English from Fordham University.  She then went to Maryknoll High School in Maui, Hawaii, where she taught for three years.  Furthermore, she returned to New York and earned her PhD in English Literature in 1973 and then was assigned to Indonesia, where she was a professor in a MA program at Provincial University of Java.

In 1983, Sister Luise was asked to complete the term of a Maryknoll Sisters Central Governing Board member who died in a plane crash in Chile.  Sister Luise was elected President of the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation in 1984, and served for six years.  In 1985, she received the Fordham University Distinguished Alumni Award.

In 1991, she was assigned to Cambodia to help re-establish the Royal University of Phnom Penh, which was hit particularly hard during the reign of terror of the Khmer Rouge.  Only two educators and thirty-six students were still alive and able to return to help re-establish the university.  Sister Luise worked in the English Language program, as well as in the university library.  In addition, she collaborated in the planning of the national higher education system.

After about 25 years in Cambodia, Sister Luise returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York to serve in the Personnel Department’s Education Office.