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Celebrating 430 Years in Mission

The eight Medical Mission Sisters from North America who are celebrating 60- and 65-year Jubilees in 2010 represent a combined 430 years in mission.

On August 15th, we are honoring six Medical Mission Sisters from North America who are marking the 60th anniversary of their First Profession of Vows this year, and two who are celebrating their 65th anniversary. Please join us in congratulations, prayers, and thanks. A Mass and brunch is being held at our North American Headquarters in Philadelphia in recognition of these Sisters’ service:

60 years:

Sister Julia Burkart, a native of New Orleans, served in hospital admissions in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, and worked in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., as a librarian and social worker. The recipient of both a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Ph.D. in Sociology, she taught on the faculty at several universities in the South. In recent years, she helped homeless and imprisoned women, and others in need, in New Orleans and Tucson. She now lives in Philadelphia, where she is involved in social justice work.

Sister Jane Burns, who grew up in Jersey City, NJ, has Master’s Degrees in English and Liturgy. She taught our novices in Philadelphia and England, and served in Dacca, Bangladesh. She learned Bengali music and poetry, and translated the liturgy from Latin to Bengali. She also taught in the Philippines, where she was our local superior, and in India, Pakistan, Africa, Latin America, the U.S. and Europe. In the 1980s, she founded our Peace Hermitage ministry in Philadelphia, where she resides today and offers spiritual companioning.

Sister Anna Mae Doran, a native of Jordan, NY, is a nurse-midwife who cared for impoverished mothers and children in Patna, Mandar, Bombay, and Kerala, India. After studying public health, in the 1970s she ministered as Coordinator at Kurji Holy Family Hospital in Patna, and with the Bihar Voluntary Health Association. She spent over 20 years serving in various health projects for women and children in Philadelphia; Anderson, South Carolina; Americus, Georgia; and Gainesville and St. Petersburg, Florida. She now lives in Philadelphia.

Sister Pat Edelen, a Baltimore native, worked in hospital pharmacy and administration in Maracaibo, Venezuela, and Atlanta, Georgia. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, she ministered in the towns of Savannah and Lumpkin, Georgia. She returned to Philadelphia in 1985 and served at a local parish, and on many of our committees. She is currently the Hospitality Coordinator for our Administration Building in Philadelphia.

Sister Jean Murray, a native of Philadelphia, served as a secretary to our Foundress, Mother Anna Dengel, and in a number of positions in our Community. She taught young people in Philadelphia, and was an instructor of office practice in Limbe, Malawi. When she returned to the Philadelphia area in 1988, she taught literacy and English as a Second Language. She then worked in Archives at our North American Headquarters.

Sister Andrea Serafini, a nurse from Renovo, Pennsylvania, served in India for 27 years, in Thuruthipuram, Kottayam, New Delhi, Bombay (now Mumbai), and Patna. She was a hospital administrator, educator, and coordinator of health programs helping impoverished people in the slums. Living near Harrisburg, PA, she has worked with mentally challenged adults at Goodwill Industries for over 20 years.

65 years:
Sister Mary Conahan is from Bethlehem, PA. She did publicity work for our Community, spent ten years in Rome as part of our leadership team, and taught English to nursing students in Karachi, Pakistan. After returning to the U.S., Sister Mary studied clinical pastoral education, then worked as Assistant Chaplain in a center in Phoenixville, PA, and as a counselor at a clinic in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has lived and served in Philadelphia for 19 years.

Sister Catherine Shean, a native of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, is a pioneering nurse-midwife who taught at and directed the Catholic Maternity Institute in Santa Fe for over 20 years. She also was in mission in Africa for 25 years, serving in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. When Sister Catherine returned to the U.S., she taught at a clinic in Tucson. Today she is retired in the Philadelphia area.

August 1, 2010