Sister María Gladys Gonzalez was born in Herveo, Tolima, Colombia on December 21st, 1945 to Rosalva (Jorge) De Gonzalez and Luis Enrique Gonzalez . She had 7 brothers and 3 sisters.
At the age of sixteen, when she was still in high school, Sister María Gladys entered the Franciscan Sisters, completed High School at Liceo La Merced High School in Pasto Colombia in 1965, and university studies and taught high school for twenty years. Then she felt a call to serve in other lands. In Pereira, Colombia she was Co-founder of the “Xaverian Missionaries,” a new community. She was asked to go to the U.S. to study missiology at Maryknoll.
In 1992, Sister Gladys joined the Maryknoll Sisters, and was assigned to Tanzania in 1995 to provide education for rural women at Murigha Girls School. Murigha is a boarding school for about 140 students, a four year program with self-reliance as a basic principle. She resonated with that and initiated “Creative Community,” an income-generating art project for the students and village women. In 2004 the Sisters turned the school over to a Tanzanian religious congregation who continue this vital education.
Sister Gladys was then appointed the Maryknoll Sisters Renewal Coordinator at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining, NY where she shared her many gifts for four years.
In 2008, she returned to Tanzania collaborating in pastoral and educational projects in Morogoro as well as responding to the emergency situation in Kenya. For six months in 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya, Sister Gladys focused on peace-building and conflict transformation as part of a Maryknoll Sisters peace team that seeks to strengthen relationships among East Africa’s diverse peoples.
In 2016, Sister Gladys was assigned to Brazil where she works at a Holistic Healing Center run by the Maryknoll Sisters.