Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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Sister Marie Tolle has spent decades ministering in Guatemala
by Lisa Sharkey, for the Inland Register
(From the November 19, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)
Sister T. Marie Tolle (left) with some of her associates, including Father Juan Turuy and Dr. José Miguel Vasquez. (IR photo courtesy of Lisa Sharkey)
In 1950, T. Marie Tolle became a member of the Sisters of Charity of New York as Sister Marie Eucharia. She worked as a teacher in various schools around Harrison, Manhattan, Bronx, and Tivoli. She started her mission work in Guatemala in 1971 when she travelled there with Sisters Immaculata Burke and Doris Pagano from their motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity in New York. They began by providing inoculations, female care, and nutritional and health education. She also did mission work in Santiago, Chile.
Sister T. Marie Tolle finally moved to Guatemala in 1981 to work full-time, preparing lay catechists and Eucharistic ministers in Novillero, Ixtahuacán, Nahualá and Pacaxom, where benefactors of the Sisters of Charity helped to build the local church and a preschool. She later helped to carry on the program begun by Sister Barbara Ford for the Widows of Sololá (from the violent Civil War) and initiated projects to help women in poverty.
Upon the death of Sister Immaculata in 2014, Sister Marie took over as administrator of the six health clinics, working with Dr. José Miguel Vaquez. She still continues to work in pastoral support, providing religious instruction and training as well as continuing her work for the education of women in the Sololá area. The Guatemala Commission asks for your prayers for Sister Marie, who is currently in New York seeking care for personal health challenges.
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