Sister Mary Vertucci

Sister Mary Vertucci
Current Ministry Location-Tanzania

Sister Mary Vertucci was born in New Brunswick, NJ. She graduated from St. Peters High School, North Brunswick, NJ in 1963 and then entered the Congregation on September 2, 1964 at the Novitiate in Topsfield, MA. She professed First Vows on June 24, 1967 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY and her Final Vows on July 22, 1972 in Tanzania. While in the Novitiate she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chemistry in 1970 from the College of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, NJ.

In 1971, Sister Mary received her first mission assignment to Tanzania, where she taught chemistry at a secondary school for girls in Koroqwe. She also served in the regional administration of the Maryknoll Sisters in Tanzania.

In 1982, she was assigned to the Center to give Congregational service in the vocation ministry. At the same time, 1982, she earned a Certificate in Clinical Pastoral Education from Central Islip Psych Hospital, Central Islip, NY.

Sister Mary returned to Tanzania in 1987and got involved in youth work and education for girls. Her keen interest in empowering young women led her to participate as a research assistant for the Pastoral Research and Develop-ment Program, which did research in the field of education among the Maasai, a nomadic, pastoral people that continues to be marginalized in Tanzania.

In 1999, Sister Mary helped found Emusoi, which means “A Place of Discovery and Awareness” in Maa, the Maasai language. The center aims to prepare school-age girls who grew up among nomadic peoples in Tanzania.

The tremendous need for secondary education for Maasai girls led to the founding of the Emusoi Center in Arusha. The center provides a home for 270 Maasai girls who live at Emusoi and at secondary schools around Arusha. There are very few college-educated women among the Maasai, so the need is great for education at all levels.