Sister Nancy Thomas’s journey in mission brought her from the islands of Hawaii to the jungle and valleys of Bolivia and the U.S. West Coast.
Sister Nancy is a member of Women in Black, a protest movement that circles the globe, including many cities in the U.S., to be united with women who suffer the effects of war and violence. They hold protest demonstrations every week for one hour on one of the busiest streets of Gilroy, California where Sister Nancy joins them dressed in black a symbol of their mourning and protest. She is also a volunteer with Emergency Housing Consortium of Santa Clara Valley, serving in the Emergency Shelter in Gilroy. The homeless are housed in the National Guard Armory from November until March from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., receive supper and breakfast, take showers, relax. She is a member of the task force for building a permanent Shelter, put on hold because of the economic crisis. Until recently Sister Nancy also worked with Community Solutions, advocating for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, accompanying the survivor to the hospital and courts. From June, 2005 to 2009, she served on the Maryknoll Sisters Western U.S. Regional Leadership Team. Assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Western U.S. Region, she began as a CCD Coordinator and Director of Religious Education in 1981.
Born in Washington D.C., Sister Nancy entered Maryknoll in 1947 and was assigned to Hawaii in 1952 where she taught in elementary school and served as principal for two decades. She was named the Director of the Promotion Office for mission education and fund raising at Maryknoll, NY. Assigned to Bolivia in 1975, she worked in the Rural Pastoral Institute in Riberalta, Pando Vicariate. In Cristo Rey parish, Cochabamba, she continued pastoral work in a poor barrio.