Sister Mary Grace (Kenne) 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.
Born and raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Sister Kenne attended Johnstown Catholic High School and Mt. Aloysius Academy. She learned about our Community through her sister Annette, who is also a Medical Mission Sister, and entered shortly after high school graduation. She went on to study at the Philadelphia Multi-lithing School, and in the 1960s managed the print shop, post office, and maintenance staff at our North American Headquarters in Philadelphia.
Sister Kenne studied at Temple University and Antonelli’s School of Photography, where she earned her diploma in portrait photography in 1976. She traveled the world to photograph our health care and missionary work. She also volunteered with the International Red Cross on the Thai-Cambodian border for six years.
In the mid-1980s, Sister Kenne moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she worked as a printer at New Mexico State University. She decided to study physical therapy (P.T.), and attended El Paso Community College in Texas, graduating with her degree as a P.T. Assistant in 1993.
Sister Kenne served as a P.T. Assistant at Alliance Care of Texas in El Paso. She later moved backed to Las Cruces, New Mexico, where she lives with her sister Annette. She does pulmonary rehabilitation work at the Atrium Physical Therapy Center in Las Cruces with clients ranging in age from their late 60s to early 80s.
The people Sister Kenne works with are suffering from lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, and pulmonary fibrosis. Sister conducts a two-month program of 24 sessions with them, to teach better breathing and increase strength and endurance. Some of the clients are on oxygen, and some are hoping to get a lung transplant. All are referred by a physician, who then receives updates on their progress. Sister Kenne says, “This is the perfect job at this time for me.”
September 15, 2011