Sister Margaret (Maggie) Sierra
Location – El Paso, TX
Margaret (Maggie) Sierra was born in Albuquerque, NM September 24, 1949 to Leonides (Tenora) Sierra and Joseph Herman Sierra. She had 3 brothers: Arthur, Joseph and Robert. Margaret graduated from Valley High School, Albuquerque, NM in 1968. She received a Diploma in nursing from St. Vincent’s Hospital, Santa Fe, NM in 1972. Maggie studied for her LPN degree and worked two years in Bernalillo County Medical Center. After those two years as charge evening nurse on a cardiac unit at Presbyterian Hospital, Albuquerque, she went on to graduate from El Paso Community College in Colorado Springs, CO, as Registered Nurse.
Margaret (Maggie) Sierra joined the Maryknoll Sisters September 2, 1977 at their Center in NY. She professed First Vows June 24, 1979 at the Center and Final Vows June 29, 1986 in Bolivia. After First Vows in 1979, Sister Maggie received her first overseas mission assignment to Bolivia in 1980.
Sister Maggie served there for eleven years. For seven years, she lived in a small Aymara Indian community about two hours outside of La Paz, ran a clinic, did pastoral work and worked with the parish children. In the city of La Paz, on a hillside called Alto Chijini, Sister Maggie continued pastoral work and her commitment to children. She collaborated with the Archdiocesan Health Committee, organizing continuing education retreats for the staff in the clinics.
From Bolivia, she volunteered to work for one year in Ocotal, Nicaragua in a war zone, visiting the sick and working with the children in the parish.
In 2000, Sister Maggie returned to Albuquerque, NM, in order to care for her aunt and her mother, who died in 2010. During these years at home, she was a volunteer chaplain at the University of New Mexico Hospital, working with sick children and their families. Sister Maggie had a special talent for puppetry, magic and music therapy with which she entertained and distracted the children. She offered hope and prayers for the parents, and translated for those who spoke only Spanish.
In 2012, Sister Maggie was assigned to New York, where she lived at the Maryknoll Sisters Center serving in various Congregational services.
In 2014, Maggie and another Maryknoll Sister were assigned to give service at the El Paso, Texas/Mexico border.