Sister Rebecca G. Macugay


Maryknoll,  NY

United States

“We are blessed with many opportunities for relating with so many others. For me, these are sacred times and spaces to learn the different faces of God.”

Sister Rebecca has reached so many people around the world in so many different capacities. She worked primarily in training others towards an awareness and understanding of their life realities. She facilitated their active participation in the shaping of lives and communities.

Sister Rebecca was born in 1946 in Isabela, Philippines. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Technology from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, and engaged in a professional exchange program as a Medical Technologist in Waukegan, Illinois, before joining the Maryknoll Sisters at the Philippine Novitiate in 1969.

Assigned to Tanzania in 1970, she was one of a team that set up the Bugando Hospital at Mwanza, Tanzania, and trained lab technicians. In 1975, she went to Kenya, where she served in a variety of ministries, including high-school teacher, youth worker in a non-school setting, and Development Education trainer for adult literacy teachers in various Catholic dioceses in the country.

Sister Rebecca received a Master’s in Education degree with a focus on Development Education from the Center for International Studies of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1986. She served several years as vocation minister for the Congregation before returning to Kenya.

As part of a pastoral team in Bura-Tana, Kenya, Sister Rebecca coordinated the training of village health workers, trained youth and women leaders, and participated in small Christian communities. During her year in Nairobi, she trained refugees in business management skills and helped to set up a day center for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Sister Rebecca transferred to Namibia in 1997 and teamed up with another Maryknoll Sister to establish the Christian development education program of the Rundu vicariate, in the northeastern part of the country. In this role, she trained church personnel from the different parishes, enabling them to work more effectively with their communities. In the national diaconate formation program, she worked with a team that helped deacons learn interactive methodologies in catechetics.

In Kleinmond, South Africa, Sister Rebecca worked with the Cape Town Grail, part of an international women’s organization, to establish the Training for Transformation Program in 2000 for women development practitioners from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

She joined the Development Department of the Maryknoll Sisters five years later. As Mission Projects Funding director, Sister Rebecca worked with grant-makers and major donors to support the mission projects of Maryknoll Sisters overseas, as well as special projects and needs at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York.

In 2005, Sister Rebecca was interviewed for the Lives of Service series.

In October 2008, Sister Rebecca was elected vice-president of the Maryknoll Sisters.