Sister Sylvia Elaine Postles entered the Maryknoll Sisters on December 30, 1959 from St. Mary’s Parish in Rutherford, NJ and made her First Profession of Vows in 1962. In 1964 she was assigned to Tanzania and after studying kiswahili, Sister Sylvia Elaine worked in rural areas in Tanzania in health care. Sister Sylvia Elaine returned to the US and received a B.S. in Nursing from Brockport State University 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 a maternity unit of a hospital and in 1983 Sister Sylvia Elaine gave service to the Congregation at Maryknoll 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 familites from 1990 until 1999.
In 1999 Sister Sylvia Elaine returned to 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 also 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, who was raised in New Jersey, walked in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event in Newark, NJ, to help find a cure for cancer.