Sister Maria was born August 1st, 1937 in New York City to Rosa Stecher Homberg and Heinrich Homberg. She has one brother. Sister Maria graduated from Mary Louis Academy, Jamaica, NY in 1955. That same year she began studies at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, New York, graduating in 1959 and earning an M.A. in Nursing Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, 1963.
Sister Maria entered the Congregation at the Sisters Novitiate in Topsfield, MA on September 2nd, 1964 from Holy Rosary Parish, Hawthorne, New York. She pronounced First Vows on June 24th, 1967 and Final Vows December 13th, 1974 both at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY./
Sister Maria’s first mission assignment in 1967 was to the Philippines to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Manapla, Negros Occidental, where she was Director of Nursing Service from 1967–1970. Sister Maria was then assigned to Maryknoll College, Manila, where she was College and Residence Nurse as well as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Social Work from 1970–1972.
She returned to the Center and worked in Central Health Services as Infirmary Nurse and driver from September 1972 – September 1973. From February 1973–1978, while a member of the Center’s Rogers Community, Sister Maria was Assistant Professor of Nursing at Pace University, Pleasantville, NY.
While teaching at Pace University, Sister Maria earned an M.A. in Biblical Studies at the Maryknoll School of Theology at Maryknoll, New York from 1976 –1978. Sister Maria graduated on December 12th, 1978. Returning to Teachers College, Columbia University in 1978, Sister Maria earned a Masters of Education in Nursing in 1979 and a Doctor of Education in Nursing in 1980.
In 1980, Sister Maria received a special assignment to Bethlehem, Palestine, where she served as an Associate Professor and Dean of Nursing at Bethlehem University from 1981–1992. Like the five other universities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Bethlem University was closed by Israeli authorities following the 1987 December Palestinian uprising. At the July 1992 graduation, which was the first graduation in four years, Sister Maria was among the six academic deans who called each student to receive a degree.
After a period of Renewal, Sister Maria was assigned to the Micronesia Region where she joined the Nursing Faculty at the College of Marshall Islands from 1993–1996.
From 19972014, Sister Maria served as Director of the Maryknoll Mission Institute located at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY. After Renewal and sometime serving in Housekeeping she became a member of the staff as an assistant in the Sisters Treasury Department, where she currently resides today