Assigned to the Philippines in 1958, Sister Theresa spent twenty years in education in elementary, high school and college levels and as novice mistress in the Maryknoll Sisters Philippines Novitiate. She earned a Master’s degree in Education, majoring in guidance and counseling from St. Louis University, Baguio.
After serving in New York as a consultant for the Maryknoll Sisters returning from mission areas for renewal, her mission journey led her to Zimbabwe, a new commitment for Maryknoll Sisters in 1982. One memory is teaching 96 students typing in two classes with only four typewriters.
A home for unwed mothers called Shelter Trust was begun in 1987 as the response of a group of lay and religious to the increasingly evident problem of abandoned babies and infanticide, caused by urban migration and the breakdown of traditional communities. In Zimbabwe girls who become pregnant lose educational and employment opportunities and often are rejected by their families. Sister Theresa became administrator of Shelter Trust, working with a staff who worked to provide a home for women awaiting the birth of their child, while giving them training to provide for themselves and their child. Sister Theresa received a Merit Award from the Rotary Club of Harare, which cited her “devoted and unselfish’service above self to the community.”
In 1997, Sister Theresa moved her ministry to Hendersonville, North Carolina, where she served at a shelter for battered women and children and at the Interfaith Assistance Ministry and Mainstay for the poor.
Sister Theresa resides at Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York.