Sister Theresa Baldini, M.M.
Current Ministry Location – Maryknoll Sisters Contemplative Community, NY
Sister Terry (Theresa), from Brooklyn, New York, worked as a secretary at a brokerage firm on Wall Street before she entered Maryknoll in 1955. After her First Profession of Vows in 1958, she worked in the Maryknoll treasury Department and then was secretary to the Vicar general of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.
In 1963, Sister Terry became a member of “a contemplative community of Maryknoll Sisters with a different kind of work to do,” as Mother Mary Joseph Rogers described the community. These Sisters are called to live their lives in prayer and sacrifice for the support of all missioners, especially Maryknollers, and the missionary endeavors of the universal church.
Sister Terry was one of the Sisters who began a prayer presence among the Navajo Native Americans in Gallup, New Mexico, in 1971. Their chapel, shaped like a Navajo Hogan, welcomed the Navajos, and the Sisters shared their well with neighbors.
In 1985, Sister Terry did research on Guatemala and the Susdan in response to invitations to start a contemplative presence. She went to Nairobi, Kenya in 1986 to study the language and cultures of the countries. She also went to Cairo, Egypt, where she studied Arabic.
In 1987 Sister Terry and Sister Madeline McHugh went to Juba, Sudan. At the invitation of Bishop Paride Taban they started planning a Sudanese Contemplative Community in the Torit Diocese. The civil war and famine kept them from going to Torit, and they remained in Juba. After the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army liberated Torit in 1990 the Sisters went to Torit and started a simple prayer presence. They, along with thousands of South Sudanese, had to flee in 1992 when the Khartoum government army began moving toward Torit prior to attacking it.
Sister Terry and Sister Madeline returned to Maryknoll, where they remained until it was safe to return to Torit in 2000. They lived in their House of Prayer and Peace in the Torit diocese, among several thousand displaced Sudanese. Sister Terry was appointed Vicaress for Religious. In 2007, Sister Terry and Sister Madeline joined the celebration of their new bishop, Bishop Akio Mutek Johnson.
In February of 2010 Sister Terry returned to the Contemplative Community at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY where she resides today.