Current Location – Center, NY
Sylvia Elaine Postles was born November 26, 1938 in Hackensack, NJ to Julie (Harris) and Edward Postles. She had 1 brother: Edward, Jr. and 7 sisters: Gloria, Julia, Ann, Frances, Rosemary, Jean and Edna. Sylvia Elaine graduated from Rutherford High School, Rutherford, NJ in 1958. In 1959, she earned a Certificate in Child Care from Our Lady of Victory Charities, Lackawanna, NY.
Sylvia Elaine Postles entered the Maryknoll Sisters December 30, 1959 at the Novitiate in Valley Park, MO from St. Mary’s Parish in Rutherford, NJ. She made her First Profession of Vows August 22, 1962 at Valley Park and Final Vows August 22, 1968 in Tanzania. Her first assignment was Congregational Service, from 1963 – 1965, at the Sisters’ Health Care at the Center and at Bethany, the Nursing facility for the elderly and infirm Maryknoll Sisters.
In 1964 Sylvia Elaine received her first overseas mission assignment to Tanzania. After studying the Kiswahili Language, Sister Sylvia Elaine provided health care in rural areas in Tanzania. She returned to the US, studied and earned a B.S. in Nursing from Brockport State University, Brockport, NY in 1973.
Sister Sylvia Elaine returned to Tanzania in 1974 to Arusha Diocese where she worked in nursing until 1976. In 1977 Sister Sylvia Elaine moved to Kenya where she served as head nurse in the maternity unit of a hospital. In 1983 Sister returned to NY where she gave service to the Congregation at the Center in Data Processing for three years. In 1987 she went to Somalia to work with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees helping 140,000 refugees in medical and nutritional programs. Sister Sylvia Elaine then served in Nairobi, Kenya working with AIDS patients and their families from 1990 until 1999.
In 1999 Sister Sylvia Elaine returned to the Maryknoll Center and has given generous service in various congregational offices. She has also been the recipient of numerous awards. In 1991 Sister Sylvia Elaine received a Public Service award for outstanding community service from Brockport State University. In 1999 she received awards of Distinguished Graduate of the Year from Rutherford High School, NJ and, from the NJ State Senate for her years of missionary service. In 2007, Sister Sylvia Elaine received a Certificate of Appreciation from the USCCB for her tireless effort and service on the National African American Catholic HIV and AIDS Task Force for her ongoing commitment to bring an end to HIV and AIDS in Black Communities.
In June 2014, Sister Sylvia Elaine, who was raised in New Jersey, and with her family, walked several times in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event in Newark, NJ, to help find a cure for cancer.
In 2020, due to health needs, she retired from full time ministry.