Sister Theresia Ndesoma
Current Mission Location – Maryknoll Sisters Center- Maryknoll, NY
Theresia Ndesoma was born March 16, 1953 to Catherina (Makawishe) Ndesoma and Wilbrod Ndesoma in Moshi, Rombo, Tanzania, East Africa. She had 1 brother, Andrea, and one sister, Magdalena. Theresia graduated from Mwenge High School in 1970. She earned her degree in nursing at Dareda Nurses Training School, in 1971; her midwifery certificate at Makiungu Mid-Training School, basic physiotherapy in Dared Hospital in 1973; a Certificate-Physical Therapy from Dareda Hospital in 1980 and a Natural Family Planning course at Ndanda Hospital in 1993. Then, Theresia practiced as a midwife for 17 years.
Sister Theresia met the late Maryknoll Sister Jennievea Lassieter when the latter was sick in the hospital in east Africa. Theresia could not communicate then in English but said, “Sister Jennievea’s presence touched my heart. God speaks to me through other people.”
Theresia entered the Maryknoll Sisters in August 1, 1994 at the Sisters Center, NY. She professed First Vows August 24, 1996 at the Center and Final Vows August 10, 2002 in Brazil.
Sister Theresia’s first mission assignment was to Brazil in 1997. She already spoke several different languages: Kiswahili, Kichagga, English, and with her assignment to Brazil she added Portuguese to that list. For the first year, she studied the Portuguese Language and Brazilian culture. From 1998 to 2008, Sister Theresia was a member of a Pastoral Team in Joao Pessoa, Brazil, with two other Maryknoll Sisters, Maryknoll Fathers and Maryknoll Lay Missioners. She did pastoral work with women and children, Mission Project Funding for Brazil and worked in the AIDS ministry.
Sister Theresia ministered to youngsters enrolled in a national nutrition program that offered multimistura preparation, an additive mixed with their food to help supplement children’s nutrition. She also worked with mothers and taught them good hygienic practices for themselves and their families.
In 2012, she was assigned to the Center in NY.