“I don’t think you get into Maryknoll unless you are resourceful, creative and live for something outside yourself. Loosely translated, I guess that means you are a resource and can respond to whatever it is you are asked to do.”
Sister Regina Pellicore has certainly proved herself to be resourceful throughout her years as a Maryknoll Sister, whether that has been as a teacher, principal, health educator, community worker with the urban poor, or in her current role as Treasurer of Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, Inc.
Sister Regina entered the Maryknoll Sisters in 1966 after pursuing a year of college-level studies at DePaul University in Chicago, the city in which she was born and raised. She completed her B.A. in Education at Mary Rogers College, Maryknoll, NY, in 1971, then spent a year teaching Fifth Grade at St. Joseph’s School in the Bronx, NY.
She was then assigned to Kaneohe, HI, where she was a teacher and a vice principal at St. Ann’s School from 1973-1984. During that same period she was active in the St. Ann’s Parish CCD program and served on its liturgical committee.
Then, in 1984, she was called back to the Maryknoll Sisters Center to serve what would turn out to be her first term as congregational treasurer, a position she would hold for the next eight years. She stayed on for an additional two years to be coordinator of a congregational study.
In 1995, Sister Regina was assigned to Cambodia, where she worked with the Beoung Tum Pun Community Based Health and Education Project. From the beginning the Maryknoll Sisters had worked hand-in-hand with the Beoung Tum Pun parish. In 2008, their new church was the first to be consecrated in Phnom Penh since the fall of the Khmer Rouge.
The Beoung Tim Pun project continues to work with the Church of the Child Jesus to provide day care services in one of the poorest parts of the village, and to facilitate education for families recommended by the Parish Outreach Committee. The community-based health and education project focuses on the neediest families in order to provide services for early education; a literacy program instrumental in preparing older children to enter school; and access to low-cost mobile basic health services.
The project also included small-scale savings and loans for about thirty families who benefited from improved standards of living through access to no-interest loans. The scholarship program provided school assistance to cover supplies and teachers fees for 225 students in primary school and 70 students in lower and upper secondary school. The project also worked within the government school system which, while extremely challenging, is the best way to improve education for a broader number of students in their village.
“Given our long-term presence in Beoung Tum Pun, the services of our programs continued to meet the needs of the community,” Sister Regina said. “Every child who learned to read, write and think critically about the future of Cambodia took a step in the right direction. We paved the way for those steps.”
Once the foundation for that program had been laid in Cambodia, Sister Regina returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, where she has served as Treasurer since January 2011.