Current Ministry Location-Eastern U.S. Region
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Maria Colabella began three years of nursing studies at Long Island Hospital School of Nursing;obtained her B.S. in Nursing from St. John’s University; was Head Nurse and Instructor at Long Island College Hospital for six years, and served as a Public Health Nurse for the Visiting Nurse Association.
She worked with the Catholic Mission Board in Ado Ekiti Nigeria and joined the Papal Volunteers, teaching Nursing at Universidad Santa Maria in Arequipa, Peru. In association with the Dominican Sisters from Columbus, OH, she worked in Chimbote, Peru. it was in Peru that she met Maryknoll Sisters and realized she wanted to make a life-long commitment to serve the poor in religious life.
Entering Maryknoll in 1978, Sister Maria was assigned to work in Ocotal, Nicaragua in 1981, where she spent five years as a nurse in government health programs. She was involved in formation of Basic Ecclesial Communities and home visiting of the sick. Upon her return from Nicaragua in 1982, she completed her studies at Maryknoll School of Theology, receiving an MA in theology in 1988.
In 1989, she spent another year in Lima, Peru again in medical and pastoral ministries, Sister Maria has found mission in her own backyard. In 1991, as a member of the Maryknoll Sisters Eastern U.S. Region, she worked in a home care program in Brooklyn for eight years, meeting people from all over the world, both homebound patients and their attendants. In the Bronx she worked at Siena House, a shelter for homeless young families. Presently she lives in New Rochelle, NY and works with the Dominican Sisters Family Health Services, Ossining, visiting patients from Latin America in their homes who are in need of maternal and child care. In 2009 she received Recognition for ten years of Nursing Service with Dominican Sisters Family Health Services.