Sister Rosemary McCormack has had the privilege of living and working with the poor on the outskirts of Lima, Peru for close to thirty years. She has come to appreciate how God is present with the people in their struggles to survive and make a better life for their children.
Sister Rosemary McCormack entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation from Long Island City, New York in 1957. In 1962 she was a star on a TV puppet show for children featured in the NY Archdiocese. This popular show, “Let’s Talk About God,” was taped for other dioceses and also shown in the Philippines.
She studied for two years at Mary Rogers College, Maryknoll, NY and received her B.A. in Sociology from St. Catherine’s, St. Paul, MN in 1967. That same year she was assigned to the Bolivia/Peru Region and studied Spanish in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
In 1968, Sister Rosemary began her commitment to Peru in two areas on the southern outskirts of Lima, Ciudad de Dios and Pamplona Alta. Her work involved her as a social worker and pastoral worker in community development. In 1980, a turbulent time of violence in Peru, Sister Rosemary was elected full time Coordinator of the Maryknoll Sisters in the Peru Region and traveled throughout the country. On completing her term, Sister Rosemary returned to Ciudad de Dios to work in a day care center.
From 1985-1989 Sister Rosemary returned to NY for mission education and promotion work. Her TV talents were highlighted once again when Maryknoll’s Social Communication Dept. produced 13 videotaped programs for use at home as well as by parishes and school groups. Entitled “Common Table”, the programs covered such topics as hunger and peace. Co-hosts, Maryknollers Father Donald Doherty and Sister Rosemary, interviewed missioners and other experts.
In 1991, Sister Rosemary received her M.A. in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Fordham University, NY in Religious Education and remained in NY for family ministry until June, 1999.
In 1999, Sister Rosemary returned to Peru and presently works in a parish in Pamplona Alta in the diocese of Lurin, created about eight years ago. She is involved in a family Catechetical Program in which parents meet once a week for two years in small groups to deepen their faith and learn how to prepare their children to receive the sacraments. Sister Rosemary meets with leader couples of the small groups and together they prepare the weekly meetings. The final goal of the program is to form Basic Christian Communities in which the people can reflect on their lives in the light of the Gospel and support each other in their efforts to transform society.
By profession Sister Rosemary is a Social Worker and helps a limited number of people who come to her with their problems. Often they just need someone to talk to, but when needed Sister Rosemary also refers them to organizations that can offer the services they need.
Sister Rosemary is a member of the National Conference of Religious Human Rights Commission. In the diocese of Lurin she works on the local level with the Commission on Human Dignity which gives workshops related to Justice and Peace.