Sister Nancy Thomas
Current Ministry Location – WUS Region
Nancy Thomas was born November 8, 1927 in Washington, DC to Wilhelmenia F. (Vogts) Thomas and Ignatius B. Thomas. She had 1 sister: Mary Clare and 1 brother: Norburn. Nancy graduated from Mt. St. Agnes High School, Baltimore, MD in 1945. She earned an Associate of Arts-Business degree from Mt. St. Agnes Junior College, Baltimore in 1947.
Nancy Thomas entered the Maryknoll Sisters October 30, 1947 at the novitiate in Valley Park, MO. She professed First Vows May 8, 1948 at Valley Park and Final Vows May 8 1953 in Hawaii. In 1952 she earned a Bachelor of Education degree from Rogers College, Maryknoll NY.
Sister Nancy’s first mission assignment was to Hawaii in 1952 where she taught in elementary school and served as principal for two decades.
In 1972 she was assigned to the Center at Maryknoll, NY and named Director of the Promotion Office for mission education and fund raising.
In 1975 Sister Nancy was assigned to Bolivia. She worked in the Rural Pastoral Institute in Riberalta, Pando Vicariate. In Cristo Rey parish, Cochabamba, she continued pastoral work in a poor barrio.
Assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Western U.S. Region, in Gilroy, CA in 1981, she began as a CCD Coordinator and Director of Religious Education.
Sister Nancy became a member of “Women in Black”, a protest movement that circled the globe, including many cities in the U.S., united with women who have suffered the effects of war and violence. They held protest demonstrations every week for one hour on one of the busiest streets of Gilroy, where Sister Nancy joined them dressed in black, a symbol of their mourning and protest. She also a volunteered with Emergency Housing Consortium of Santa Clara Valley, serving in the Emergency Shelter in Gilroy. The homeless, housed in the National Guard Armory from November until March from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., received supper and breakfast, took showers, and relaxed.
Sister Nancy, a member of the task force for building a permanent Shelter was put on hold because of the economic crisis. 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.