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Sister Karen Gossman

Sister Karen 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.

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Sister Karen graduated from Our Lady of Mercy Academy, and received her R.N. at Saints Mary and Elizabeth Hospital. She worked there, and in the Army Nursing Corps on a hospital ship in World War II, before joining our Community.

Sister Karen’s first overseas mission assignment was to Pakistan. She was an operating room supervisor and nurse-midwife at Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi for five years, and then served as Administrator at Holy Family Hospital in Karachi.

In 1960, Sister Karen began several years of service as Administrator and our local Superior in Quinhon, South Vietnam. In 1968, she became Executive Director of a Vietnam Assistance program, spending time in Saigon and in Washington, D.C.

After Sister Karen repatriated to the U.S., she became certified as a nurse-anesthetist at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio, then worked on the staff there for four years. She was a Clinical Instructor at Bel Park Anesthesia Associates in Youngstown, Ohio. She also worked in the anesthesia department at Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.

When Sister Karen retired from active hospital work, she became a pastoral care worker. She recalls, “As a Eucharistic minister, I carried the Lord God to my fellow parishioners and neighbors. I brought comfort to the lonely and helped to feed the hungry.”

Sister Karen also participated in many outreaches for justice. She joined a Covenant Peace Community with 250 members. She says, “Practically all of the religious communities in the area were represented in our group, as well as married couples, children and single adults. We worshipped, worked, and made our spiritual journeys toward transcendence together. I consider it a grace to have been a small part of a group that pursues this goal.”

Sister Karen recently moved to our North American Headquarters in Philadelphia.

August 15, 2011