Sister Margaret (Margie) Kollmer
Current Ministry Location: EUS Region
Sister Margaret “Margie” was born January 21st, 1933 in W. Hempstead, NY to Theresa Kollmer and John Kollmer. She had 5 brothers and 1 sister. Sister Marge graduated from St. Agnes Academy, Queens, NY in 1951. In 1954, Sister Marge graduated as a Nurse Practitioner from St. Catherine’s Hospital.
Sister Margie entered the Congregation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY on September 2nd, as a Registered Nurse from St. Catherine’s Hospital School of Nursing. She pronounced First Vows at the Sisters Center June 24th, 1961 and Final Vows June 24th, 1967 in Korea. She became certified in anesthesiology from St. Francis Hospital/Viterbo College, LaCrosse, WI, and was assigned to Korea in 1964.
Sister Margie set up an anesthesia department at Maryknoll Hospital, Pusan, and later gave an 18-month anesthesia course to post-graduate nurses. She worked with the government’s Ministry of Health & Social Affairs for certification of Korean nurse anesthetists. Sister Marge’s nursing skills also were used to serve the poor on islands near the Korean peninsula, and she often fulfilled health services for women workers and prison inmates. In Song Nam, she was a member of a basic ecclesial community team.
Back in NY from 1984 – 1988, Sister Margie served as director of congregational health services for the Maryknoll Sisters. When she returned to Korea in 1989, she was asked to help set up a home care hospice program in Seoul for the Catholic social services agency. She also worked with a team whose services were non-denominational, offering direct home care, a bereavement program, and organized programs to help encourage hospice programs among the general public.
Returning to the United States from 1994 – 2006 for family ministry, Sister Margie began to volunteer in hospice programs: one day her life changed with a phone call from Transfiguration Parish in Brooklyn, where a group had been planning to open a residence for homeless people living with AIDS. After meeting the team, she responded to their need for a registered nurse to be a part-time medical coordinator at Casa Betsaida. Sister Margie continued with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, working with hospice home care patients. “I have learned that hospice is assisting the person to live fully each moment of each day.”
In January 2011, Sister Margie left NY for a two-year assignment in Korea. She helped with hospice patients and served in a clinic for the poor, as well as teaching English to the aspirants and novices of the Sisters of Paul de Chartres.
In 2014, at the annual congress of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Sister Margie accepted the Hermi Lohnert Award for a lifetime of service in the nursing field.
She was the Wellness Promoter at the Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY from 2013 – May 2017. In 2017, Sister Margie retired and is residing in Yonkers, NY.