Current Ministry Location-Peru
Sister Maria was in Arequipa, Peru. She graduated from Colegio Nacional Nuestra Asuncion High School, Arequipa Peru in 1963. She then earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Universidad Catolica de Santa Maria in Arequipa in 1972.
Sister Maria entered the Congregation on August 26, 1975 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY. She professed her First Vows on June 5, 1977 and her Final Vows on May 18, 1986 both in Peru.
Sister Maria’s first mission assignment was to Peru from 1977-1982, doing Community Based Health as a nurse member of a pastoral team in Peru/Ecuador, the Department of Puno and Juli, helping church workers integrate health and pastoral efforts. She studied the Aymara language and immersed herself in that Indian culture saying, “Although geographically I remained in my own country, in the highlands I moved into a totally different culture.”
In 1990, Sister Maria was a delegate from Peru to the Maryknoll Sisters General Assembly and was elected to be a member of the Central Governing Board until 1997. In one of the talks that Sister Maria gave at a First Commitment Ceremony, she reminded her Sisters: “Being part of a multicultural community, each of us brings distinct gifts which help to enrich and enlarge the ever-growing tapestry of the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation.” In New York Sister Maria studied Therapeutic Massage and Reflexology. In 1998, she returned to South America and continued Reflexology study in Lima, Peru and in Santiago, Chile she studied Reiki, Polarity and Tai Chi.
From 1999 to 2004, she worked at the grassroots level in Vilquechico, a small town on the north shore of Lake Titicaca and continued to focus on Bioenergetics. In 2000, with her studies and previous experience in natural medicine she worked with the dean of the nursing faculty of the Catholic University in Arequipa, creating a program for graduate students (doctors, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, dentists, etc.) to become specialists in Bioenergetic Treatments. At the same time the University granted her credits for her experience and her studies. Sister Maria continues teaching in the University program which has expanded to other places like Cuzco. She works in her health ministry in the Prelature of Juli teaching Bioenergetics to the local people and the health promoters.
Since 2003 she has participated in the Office of Evangelization and Andean Culture as well as the Prelature’s Pastoral Council. In her 29th year of serving the Aymara people, Sister Maria says, “I am grateful for the opportunity to share my knowledge with other people and learn from them also and indeed am energized by their enthusiasm for bioenergetics, this new (and ancient field).”
Appointed to serve as Wellness Coordinator at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY, Sister Maria’s responsibilities included promotion of alternative health remedies, she returned to minister in Peru in 2004.