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Maryknoll Team
LEFT: L to R:  Sr. Ann Hayden, Sr. Bitrina Kirway, Sr. Rebecca Macugay, Sr. Janice McLaughlin

Maryknoll Sisters Plan for Mission, Elect New Leadership

MARYKNOLL, NY - October 27, 2008-- One hundred and sixty-eight delegates representing 28 countries of the world met in General Assembly in Tarrytown, NY October 4 to 17, 2008 to plan for the future and elect leadership for the next six years.  Prior to the General Assembly, the Sisters met together with delegates from the other branches of the Maryknoll family: the priests and brothers of the Society, the Lay Missioners and several Affiliates in a Mission Forum on the theme, “Are not our hearts burning…” This gathering gave new and long-time missioners an opportunity to share mission experiences and set priorities for the future.

At the General Assembly, the Maryknoll Sisters, reflected on and discussed their emerging consciousness of the Universe story and commitment to the mission of Jesus, entering into a sacred journey, probing experiences and gathering wisdom from each other. They set directions for the coming years in mission with the changing landscape of our world realities.  They named the following areas of giftedness and challenges: spirituality, mission and ministry, multi-cultural membership, resources and structures. The new leadership team will assume their positions in January 2009. They are:

Sister Janice McLaughlin from Pittsburgh, PA, was elected President of the Congregation.   Sister  Janice has worked in Africa for more than 30 years. She was first Communications Coordinator of the Catholic church in Kenya training journalists and broadcasters. In 1977 she was sent to what was then Rhodesia to serve as Press Secretary for the Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace. After only three months, she was arrested, detained and deported for documenting the war crimes of the government of Ian Smith. After her deportation in September, 1977, she worked with the Washington Office on Africa, (WOA), a church based lobby group that helped to educate the American public and Congress about African affairs. In 1979 she became the Projects Officer for the Zimbabwe Project, a new initiative set up by a consortium of Catholic donors to assist refugees from the war in Rhodesia; she was based in Mozambique, visiting refugee camps and raising funds for them.

After Independence in 1980, Sister Janice was invited by the independent government of Zimbabwe to work as education consultant in the President's Office. She helped to build nine schools for former refugees and war veterans and to develop a new system of education which linked academic subjects with technical training. In 1985, she helped to establish the Zimbabwe Mozambique Friendship Association (ZIMOFA), which assisted displaced people in Mozambique who were caught in the civic war.

Sister Rebecca Macugay, from Cabatuan, Isabela, the Philippines  was elected Vice President of the Congregation. Sister Rebecca has served 30 years in East and Southern Africa.

Sister Ann Hayden from Louisville, KY, was elected member of the Leadership Team. She has served in  Korea , Sudan, Nicaragua and in the Maryknoll Residential Care facility at Maryknoll.
Sister Bitrina Kirway  from Nangwa Mbulu Diocese, Tanzania, East Africa was also elected member of the Leadership Team. Sister Bitrina  worked in the Central Pacific Region.

Founded in 1912 in New York, the Maryknoll Sisters today number 540 members who come from 27 different countries of birth. They are serving in 28 countries around the world in Africa, Asia, Pacific Islands, Central and South America and the United States.

Learn more about Maryknoll Sisters

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