Click here to read about The Life, GSR's monthly feature about the unique and challenging lives of women religious around the world.
Welcome to our second year of The Life, featuring a panel of 25 sisters who will share their reflections about the unique, challenging and very specific lives of Catholic women religious around the world.
After receiving applications from 80 sisters, we expanded the panel this year to reflect a greater diversity of ages, nationalities, religious congregations, ministries and charisms.
Our panelists this year are from or work in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ghana, Haiti, India, Ireland, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, South Africa, Switzerland, the Philippines and the United States.
They include artists, authors, civil and canon lawyers, documentary filmmakers, prison chaplains, teachers, pastoral workers, trauma counselors, and directors of nongovernmental organizations, as well as sisters who work in congregational leadership, development, communications, and vocations, and sisters who work with refugees and victims of human trafficking.
Read some of their responses here to the question: Describe a key lesson you have learned from your work or life as a sister.
Meet the 2018-2019 panelists for The Life:
Adriana Haro Betancourt, Mexico / the Philippines
Adriana Haro Betancourt belongs to the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity. She is from Mexico but currently works in youth ministry in the Philippines, where she heads her congregation's national communications team and produces a weekly online radio program for youth evangelization. She made final vows in 2014.
Lilian Bong, Australia
Lilian Bong is a Sister of St. Joseph of the Apparition in Western Australia. Born in Malaysia and trained as a nurse, she did medical mission outreach in Myanmar before making her final profession in 2016. Now she serves as second councilor to the provincial, does vocation and mission appeal work, and has a special ministry to elderly Chinese people.
Karlyn Cauley, United States
Karlyn Cauley belongs to the Sisters of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A studio artist, she ministered in art education and with sisters in temporary vows in her congregation's formation program for many years. Presently, she does ecumenical work in the adult spirituality of women.
Lydia Collado, the Philippines
Lydia Collado is a Religious of the Sacred Heart sister who ministers in Northern Samar, Philippines. She is the program director and head of the Sacred Heart Institute for Transformative Education (SHIFT) Foundation, which does campus ministry, pastoral ministry, operates a nursery, and manages Sophie's Farm, an organic demonstration farm.
Tarianne DeYonker, United States
Tarianne DeYonker is a Dominican Sister of Adrian, Michigan. She has ministered as a teacher, administrator, public speaker, marriage and family therapist, and program developer. She also served as vicaress and general councilor for her congregation. She is currently beginning a ministry in Adrian in vocation work and also facilitates creative writing workshops.
Cecilia Oluchi Dimaku, Nigeria / United States
Cecilia Oluchi Dimaku is in the Congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an indigenous institute in Nigeria. She previously held business positions in schools, the diocese, and her community. After 12 years in leadership, she was missioned to the Sisters of the Holy Family in the United States, where she works as payroll and personnel coordinator at their academy in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Henrietta Eziashi, Nigeria
Henrietta Eziashi belongs to the Franciscan Sisters of Glasgow, Scotland. After ministering in teaching and educational administration, she served two terms as provincial superior in Nigeria. Later, she was elected a member of the central leadership team of her congregation. Presently, she does pastoral work in Lagos, Nigeria, and does development work for her province.
Margaret Gonsalves, India
Margaret Gonsalves is a Sister for Christian Community and feminist theologian active in the Ecclesia of Women in Asia and Indian Women Theologian's Forum. As founder of ANNNI Charitable Trust, she networks with nongovernmental organizations to run free residential programs in intensive spoken English, sustainable development skills, and workshops for the empowerment of indigenous girls and women.
Mary Hanrahan, Ireland
Mary Hanrahan is a Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dublin, Ireland, who ministered in teaching and administration in inner-city Dublin with disadvantaged teenage girls. She served one term on the provincial leadership team and two on the congregational level. She is currently employed as chaplain in an all-male prison for men convicted of violent crimes.
Amy Hereford, United States
Amy Hereford is a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet from St. Louis, Missouri. Her background includes teaching, communication, management and administration. As an author, theologian, and civil and canon lawyer, she consults with religious communities and charitable organizations around the world, addressing technical concerns of religious institutes and exploring the evolving nature of religious life.
Marilyn Lacey, United States
Marilyn Lacey is a Sister of Mercy from California. She transitioned from teaching at the high school level into refugee work, first in camps and later in domestic welcome and resettlement with Catholic Charities in San Jose. An author and speaker, Marilyn founded and directs Mercy Beyond Borders, an international nonprofit that works with women and girls in places of extreme poverty.
Thomas Limacher, Switzerland
Thomas Limacher is a Sister of the Holy Cross of Menzingen, Switzerland. She ministered in South Africa during apartheid and later worked at the Swiss Pilgrim Place of Saint Brother Claus, a famous shrine and pilgrim destination. She now does development work in Missions Procure, an intercongregational, nongovernmental organization that supports the projects of her sisters worldwide.
Christine Nasimiyu Masivo, Kenya
Christine Nasimiyu Masivo is a Missionary Sister of the Precious Blood in Kenya and did her formation studies in Tanzania and Canada. Working at Kenya Broadcasting Company and Radio Maria in Uganda as reporter, editor, news director, producer and news anchor, she is now with Capuchin TV, a Catholic station in Kenya, while pursuing graduate studies in communication.
Cynthia Mathew, India
Cynthia Mathew belongs to the Congregation of Jesus from India. A social worker and lawyer, she worked with the Dalit people, prisoners, women, and victims of human trafficking. She practiced law in the Patna High Court, working for juvenile delinquents and victims of rape and domestic violence. She is now serving as a nongovernmental organization representative to the United Nations for her congregation.
Letta Mosue, South Africa
Letta Mosue belongs to the Congregation of St. Brigid from the Rustenburg Diocese, South Africa. She has been an educator, clinical psychologist, and specialist in trauma counseling and ministered in university and police correctional services. She now works in private practice and at an oncology clinic while serving as superior general of her congregation.
Adelaide Ndilu, Kenya
Adelaide Ndilu is a Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. After a varied career in teaching, administration and as secretary in a nursing school and for an archbishop, she studied mass communications. For several years, she has been producing stories and interviews on church and justice topics for Radio Waumini, a Catholic radio station in Nairobi, Kenya.
Brenda Peddigrew, Canada
Brenda Peddigrew is a Sister of Mercy of Newfoundland, in Canada. A writer, speaker, high school teacher and director of adult faith development for St. John's Archdiocese of Newfoundland, she collaborated with Diarmuid O'Murchu on Religious Life in the 21st Century. She facilitates chapters for congregations of men and women around the world.
Jane Quinlan, United States / Belgium
Jane Quinlan belongs to the U.S. Province of the Ursulines of Tildonk. After many years in the classroom and missionary service in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, she served four years in vocation ministry and represented her order at the United Nations. She now serves on her congregational leadership team in Brussels, Belgium, as assistant general superior.
Andrews Mary Robinson, India / Mexico
Andrews Mary Robinson is a Franciscan Missionary of Mary sister. Indian by nationality, she has worked in Cuba, Mexico and Nicaragua, accompanying elderly women at an old-age home, doing pastoral work, ministering in villages to visit families, prepare catechists, and work with women in income-generating activities. Now she lives in Leon, Mexico, studying educational administration.
María Alejandra Leguizamón Schija, Argentina
María Alejandra Leguizamón Schija is a Dominican Sister of the Holy Name of Jesus in Tucumán, Argentina. Her academic preparation includes a pastoral specialization with an area of focus related to human trafficking. She works in pastoral ministry but also with a diverse group called Net "Kawsay" that gives workshops for children through adults in border schools and neighborhoods.
Marie Josee Seide, Haiti / United States
Marie Josee Seide is a Daughter of Wisdom, and — in temporary vows — is their newest professed member for the United States. Before entering, she worked in Haiti for USAID, the International Development Bank, and the National Olympic Committee. In community, she worked in administration at a school for exceptional children and now directs parish social ministries in Amityville, New York.
Kathie Shea, United States
Kathie Shea belongs to the Medical Missionaries of Mary. She ministered at her community's local, area and congregational levels in finance in the United States, Ireland and Africa. When she lived in Kenya, she worked with the Association of Sisters of Kenya. Now in her community's mission development office in Chicago, she serves as the congregation's business administrator for Brazil, Honduras and the United States.
Mercy Shumbamhini, Zimbabwe
Mercy Shumbamhini belongs to the Congregation of Jesus. With a background in accounting, social work, administration and finance, she has held leadership positions in community development and lectures at university level in social work and theology. She is regional director of her congregation and was president of the Conference of Major Superiors in Zimbabwe through Jan. 10, 2019.
Clarence N. Uzogara, Ghana
Clarence N. Uzogara is a member of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. Born in Nigeria and raised in Ghana, she has ministered in both countries, teaching science and other subjects and serving as school bursar and administrator. She is studying educational administration in graduate school at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
Judith Anne Zielinski, United States
Judith Anne Zielinski, a Franciscan Sister of Sylvania, Ohio, is a television writer, producer and filmmaker. Her work has earned many prestigious awards. Formerly communications director for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men in Washington, D.C., she also worked for Family Theater Productions in Hollywood, California, and now directs faith and values programming for NewGroup Media in South Bend, Indiana.