“I am here because I really believe in the Gospel. I believe Christ came to give life and I feel my life is so full. I believe that in sharing life with them I have become a better me, full of life, full of joy and they, by sharing with me, have gotten a lot out of it also.”
Sister Rosalie trains and encourages young women to be self-reliant, to become strong leaders in their communities. She tries to instill in them a sense of self-esteem, confidence, good moral values and leadership qualities along with a desire to be independent and self-supporting.
Sister Rosalie was born in Lipa in the Philippines. She earned degrees in both Elementary and Secondary Education from Maryknoll College in Manila. She later served as coordinator of Maryknoll Grade School and was Principal at St. John Bosco School in Suriago and also was involved in catechetical work in that area.
She entered the Maryknoll Sisters’ Congregation in 1962. Sister Rosalie was assigned to Musoma,Tanzania in 1981 and worked in Pastoral Ministry and with the women. It was while there that Sister Rosalie started the Tupendane Center which developed into the Tupendane Cottage Industry. There are now many young women working full time making cards, sweaters, school uniforms, bead necklaces, vestments, etc. These young women are mostly orphans. They are trying to be self-reliant. Several of these AIDS orphans are the bread winners for their siblings. They need peer support so this working together has really helped them.
It was in this Cottage Industry that Sister Rosalie began to involve herself in teaching many different skills, such as sewing, weaving, cooking, a lttle English teaching, and even coffin making! She also taught folks how to apply for loans, set up small business through which they can earn a living for themselves and for their children. Some women have been sent on for further study, a number of whom have returned as teachers in the very Cottage Industry that trained them! One of the great benefits of the Tupendane Cottage Industry is that of giving the young women who go there a sense of responsibility and the capacity to live their own lives despite the severe circumstnces under which they live. She collaborated with Sister Mary Reese in the COMMUNITY ALIVE CENTER, working with youth, children and adults affected by the AIDS pandemic.
After many loving farewells for her years in Tanzania, Sister Rosalie was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center – Rogers Community in 2010 and presently works in the Development Department.