Born in the Netherlands, Marjolein Bruinen taught and directed a school for secondary education there, before entering her congregation in Aruba in 1975. Later she ministered in Germany and Italy, helping direct the congregation's children's villages. Called to Riga, Latvia, she established a community of the congregation there. After the Latvian sisters were able to take over its leadership and a short sabbatical, she served in the Generalate, in the Netherlands, as a member and then secretary of the General Board, for 12 years. In those years she was also involved in actions against human trafficking. Currently she is the general secretary of the Union of the European Conferences of Major Superiors.
God thinks every human being can change. That's why in Bethany we don't have an age limit for entrance: Sometimes it takes a lifetime before the desire for a life as a religious grows.
Although baptized and educated as a Catholic, I had no interest in church or religion, so it was a shock when I heard in my heart: "I want you with your whole life and all you have." What could I do but leave behind my fiancé and dreams of a married life?
We Dominican Sisters of Bethany have lived Riga, Latvia, since 1995. It was our practice to offer short-term housing for women. We took in a trafficking victim named "Baiba." Little by little, she told her story.