Sister Margarita Jamias

Sister Margarita Jamias

Current Ministry Location: Maryknoll Sisters Center-Maryknoll, NY

Sister Margarita was born in Masinloc, Zambales, Philippines on April 7, 1936 to Jose Jamias and Francisca (Edillor) Jamias. She has three sisters and one brother.  In 1952, she graduated from Tabaco High School and then attended Maryknoll College, Quezon City, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Education.

From 1956-1960, Sister Margarita taught at Maryknoll Grade School in Manila.  In 1960, she graduated with a Master of Arts in Education from the Ateneo University, Quezon City.

Sister Margarita entered the Congregation at Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY on September 2, 1960 and transferred to the Novitiate in Topsfield, MA.  She pronounced First Vows on June 24, 1963 in Topsfield, MA, and Final Vows on December 28, 1969 in Maryknoll College, Quezon City, Philippines.

In 1983, she graduated with an M.A. in Theological Studies at the Maryknoll School of Theology, Maryknoll, NY; and in 1998 an M.A. in Applied Theology at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA.

Her first assignment was to the Philippine Region in 1964 where she taught at the Maryknoll Grade School in Quezon City; and from 1965-1966 at St. John the Baptist School in Jimenez, Misamis Occidental.  From 1966-1970 she was Principal of La Salette Elementary School in Santiago, Isabela.

In 1970, she was assigned to Guatemala where she taught at Colegio Monte Maria.

In 1974, Sister Margarita was assigned to Nicaragua.  From 1974-1978, she was involved in Community Development, Pastoral Ministry (Basic Christian Community), and Ministry with women in Leon and Tola.  Rescuing young girls from a brothel in Tola who were trafficked was a collaborative effort of the BEC members, the Parish priest and the Sisters.  During some occasions when the Pastor was away, Margarita was called on to celebrate the Liturgy of Christian Burial.

Over the years, Sister Margarita has generously shared her talents in serving Maryknoll in the U.S. interspersed with her foreign assignments.  She served on  World Awareness/ Mission Education/Promotion with Sister Maura Clarke.  Based in Boston, MA, they gave programs from NY to Maine.  From 1988-1991, she was again assigned in Mission Education/Promotion with Sr. Rose Marie Cecchini covering the West Coast.  She also worked as Business Administrator of the Mission Institute, and Coordinator of Mission Projects Funding.

In 1983, she was back in Leon, Nicaragua where she accompanied the people in pastoral work, empowerment of women, and started the New Haven- Leon Sister City project which still continues today.  During the Contra War in Nicaragua the young men were called to military duties.  Margarita joined the women in harvesting cotton, the main export of Leon, as part of her accompaniment of the people.  She was also a member of the Regional Governing Board of the Maryknoll Sisters.

In 1995-1997, Sister Margarita went to Condega where she worked with the Parish Pastoral Team and gave courses on women’s Empowerment.  She organized livelihood projects with the women of Condega and the outlying villages.  She was again a member of the Nicaragua-Panama Regional Coordinating Team.

In 2001, she returned to the Philippines to serve as Resource Person and JPIC Advocate of the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary in Baguio City.  Here she conducted “Cosmic Journey”, a guided scientific, meditative reflection from the Primal Fireball of 13.8 B years ago to the emergence of religious traditions.  She offered seminars on the New Cosmology, Climate Change, and Ecofeminism.  As JPIC Advocate, Sister Margarita worked with Peoples’ Organization, Non-governmental and Church groups that promoted and fostered Earth-human relationships.  She was Co-convenor of the “Save the Abra River Movement”.

Sister Margarita was Chairperson of the Association of Women Religious of Baguio-Benguet for three terms.  She was also a member of the Association of Women in Theology, Baguio-Benguet Chapter.

From 2002-2013, Sr. Margarita was Contact Person of the Maryknoll Sisters Philippine Convocation.  She was a member of the Miriam College Board of Trustees from 2011-2013.

In addition, she received two awards:

  • The Amazing Alumni Achiever Award from Maryknoll/Miriam Alumni Association on November 19, 2005, Quezon City
  • The Outstanding Woman Award for Leadership in “Ecological Preservation”, given by the City of Baguio on March 8, 2010 at the Baguio Convention Center, Baguio City

In 2013-2018 Sister Margarita was assigned to the Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY as Mailroom Supervisor.

Sister Margarita is a member of the Environment Committee which seeks to educate and reflect on the meaning of One Earth Community, including the spirituality underlying it and other aspects of Evolutionary Consciousness.  She is contact person of UISG Sowers of Hope for the Planet promoting the Laudato Si Action Platform Goals; facilitates the participation of all Sisters in webinars and zooms, channels resources from the Catholic Climate Covenant, Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology.  She continues her advocacy work on environment and concrete actions we can take on issues of Climate Change, Biodiversity, etc.

She also helps in the Maryknoll Sisters Mission Institute.