Sister Marion Puszcz

 

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Sister Marion Puszcz
Current locations – Center, NY

Marion Puszcz was born March 25, 1925 in Yonkers, NY to Thecla (Roth) and Walter Puszcz. She had 3 brothers: John, Vincent and Walter. She graduated from Blessed Sacrament High School in Yonkers in 1942.

She acquired a Bachelor’s degree in Science and Philosophy from Fordham University in 1945. Four years later, in 1949, Marion earned her Doctor of Medicine degree in obstetrics and gynecology from the NY Medical Center in New York City. She began her internship in 1950 at St. Michaels Hospital, Rochester, NY and Residency in Highland Hospital and Strong Medical also in Rochester. In 1954 Sister Marion began Residency at Albany Medical Center. It was while serving there that she recognized her call to the religious life.

Marion entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation September 2, 1954 at the Sisters Center in NY and made her First Vows March 7, 1957. Just after First Vows, she was assigned to Tanzania, East Africa – to Nyegina and Kowak.  Her Final Vows were made March 7, 1963 in Tanzania.

She served in Tanzania for 25 years. Sister Marion was the first gynecologist in Tanzania. While there, she established and directed a catholic hospital in Kowak. She taught her specialty at the Tanzanian Medical College and was an obstetrician at the Muhimbili Medical Center in Dar es Salaam. President Nyerere had suggested that she could help mostly Muslim women who, due to cultural taboos, could only be reviewed by female doctors. Sister Marion also trained medical doctors in Kenya.

In the early 1980s, she was assigned back to the United States, where she helped set up clinics in Harlem, NY for women on parole, working mostly with Dominican and Haitian immigrants.

Sister Marion assigned to Bangladesh in 1989 where she served as a medical director for 10 years in St. Paul’s hospital in Shelabunia, an area predominantly occupied by Muslims.

Sister Marion was assigned in1997 to Nicaragua, where she taught English as a second language and health care for 5 years. After her time in Nicaragua, she was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters retirement community in Monrovia, California in 2001. On Fridays, she worked a 10-hour day as chaplain at City of Hope, and in 2002, she was named the city’s Senior of the Year.

In 2015, Sister Marion retired to the Center in NY.