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Sister Therese Hayes

Sister Therese is one of 600 Medical Mission Sisters and 80 Associates in 17 nations trying to be present to others in the spirit of Jesus the Healer.

The oldest of nine children, Sister Therese joined our Community shortly after her graduation from Sacred Heart Academy in Stamford, Connecticut. She studied nursing at Georgetown University for two years, then earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Massey College in Atlanta.

Sister Therese did secretarial and administrative work in Philadelphia and in Ghana, at Holy Family Hospitals in Berekum and Techiman. In Kumasi, Ghana, she served as the private secretary to Bishop Peter Sarpong.

Returning to Philadelphia in the early 1970s, Sister Therese studied at LaSalle University, graduating with a dual major in Religious Studies and Criminal Justice/Sociology. She became involved in prison ministry, and was recognized for her dedicated service in Philadelphia prisons.

In her South Philadelphia neighborhood, Sister Therese has provided compassionate care to many vulnerable persons in their homes, hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. She took care of young children; served as a patient care volunteer at Jefferson Hospital; assisted the elderly and their caregivers; and was an advocate for the poor and elderly at the local and state levels. She also volunteered at St. Paul’s Parish.

In 1988, Sister Therese began ministry as an AIDS Buddy with ActionAIDS, the largest AIDS service organization in Pennsylvania. She continues this work today, sharing, “I feel blessed by God to have gained so much knowledge and practical experience about AIDS, and I am grateful to be able to do this work.” She received her 20-year award from ActionAIDS in 2008.

March 15, 2012