“Happiness is utter enjoyment of what one has.”
Sister Mary Naab lived and worked among the people of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands for thirty-seven years, in addition to the nearly fifteen years she spent in service in the U.S. A New Jersey native with a special dedication to social work, Sister Mary entered Maryknoll in 1940. Before setting out on her first mission assignment to Hawaii, she earned her A.B. in Sociology at Manhattanville, and on her arrival in mission, she supplemented this degree with a Certificate as a Social Case Worker from the University of Hawaii.
Sister then began her ministry by helping the local Bishop to establish a Catholic Social Service Office in his newly created diocese. On returning to Hawaii after seven years of service with the CSS in California, Sister Mary first worked as the Planning Coordinator for the Diocesan Board of Education and then became involved in the Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center. Here Sister ministered with sensitivity and compassion to poor and needy children, orphans as well as disruptive or truant children at risk of gang involvement. She spent years as the Center Administrator in Nanakuli and Molokai before becoming the head of all units throughout Hawaii.
Sister Mary then spent five years as the Personnel Coordinator at the Maryknoll Center, after which she founded a CSS in a new diocese in the American Samoa. As Director of this CSS office, Sister helped to establish counseling programs, including opportunities for alcoholics and victims of domestic abuse.
In 1997, Sister retired to Monrovia and returned to the Maryknoll Center in New York ten years later. She remains a prayerful member of the Eden Community today.