Sister Margaret Rose Ibe has worked in Peru since 1978 where she is still in mission. She was involved with human rights advocacy on the local, metropolitan and national levels, both church and civic. She has been actively involved in the “building of the city of God” in the Lurin Diocese on the southern outskirts of Lima.
Sister Margaret Rose entered Maryknoll on September 2, 1967, from St. Patrick’s Parish, Bayshore, Long Island, NY, making her first profession of vows on October 30, 1970, and her final vows on August 27, 1978, both at Maryknoll, NY.
She worked in the Motherhouse from 1969-1972, in its Treasury Department, local bursar’s office, and on its switchboard, while studying for her B.S.E., which she received from Mary Rogers College at Maryknoll in 1972.
Sister Margaret Rose’s first foreign mission assignment was to Indonesia in 1972. After language study at Bandung, she taught short courses on home economics and budgeting in 1972. She then served as a staff member at KUPERDA, an organization for the education of village leaders, from 1974-1976.
She then returned to New York, where she completed her Year of Reflection, earning an M.A. in religious studies from the Maryknoll Graduate School of Theology in 1977. Following graduation, Sister Margaret Rose became involved in literacy training and human rights group work, and was a staff member of the Brazilian Bishops Program of International Study Days. She also worked several days a week at an outreach program sponsored by the Department of Community Medicing of St. Vincent’s Hospital, New York City.
In 1978, sister Margaret Rose received her second foreign assignment to Peru. Following a year of language study in Cochabamba, she began work at the Ciudad de Dios Parish in Lima, where she worked in adult education and community organization with women. She also worked on the Vicariate Commission of Human Rights for 18 years, until the vicariate was made into the Diocese of LUrin. At that time, she was named Directress of the diocesan Human Dignity Commission. The Commission operates four Centers of Access to Justice for low- or no-income people, with a total of 10 legal offices and four Resolution of Confict offices. They also have a multidisciplinary education team that gives workshops of such themes as ethics and values, children’s and women’s rights, adolescence and women’s issues, and topics related to the family, to leaders from most of the 37 parishes in the diocese.
“During my years in mission, I have always been blessed-graced with many opportunities for faith-sharing relationships with the people,” Sister Margaret Rose says. She is lovingly called “Hermana Marita,” an endearment the Peruvians gave to her. They have adopted her as a compatrior, having lived and worked among them for more than 40 years. she has formed a deep friendship with them, and is considered a member of the family by many of them.