The Legacy She Left Us

                                                                        As I said, I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing: I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission. I am running toward the only goal that                                                                               counts: to cross the line, to win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed. — Philippians 3:13-14 (Source: The Voice) 

 The quotation above is not Sister Ann McKean’s, but it well could be. Anyone who knew Sister Ann can attest to the fact that, as foundress of Adelante Mujer (Advance Woman,) she “put everything on the line for this mission.” Whether it was the welfare of the students, the success of the doctors, the pursuit of grants, the wisdom of investments, the caliber of the Board of Directors, the succession after her retirement, Sister Ann gave total energy and attention to each aspect of her mission. Someone jokingly said, “No matter what we’re discussing, Ann always manages to weave the conversation to Adelante Mujer!” 

 Everything about Ann McKean’s life seemed to be preparing her for the final mission before “running toward the only goal that counts.” As a teen she was drawn to investigate various churches and their spirituality. By the time she graduated from high school Ann had decided that Catholicism was her call. On her 18th birthday she was baptized into the Catholic Church. That decision thwarted her plan to become a protestant missionary. What should she do? Become a Catholic sister was her answer. Friends introduced Ann to the Sisters of St. Agnes who taught in her home town, Decatur, Indiana. At the age of 19 Ann traveled to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin to begin the process of becoming a sister. 

 Sister Ann’s professional preparation was for teaching. Assignments in New York, especially in Harlem, gave her glimpses into the disadvantages of people and families deprived of financial stability. Her missionary heart never forgot the plight of the poor. 

 Living in New York provided other opportunities for Sister Ann whose strong intellect and perpetual curiosity compelled her to delve deeply into the Scriptures she treasured as a protestant and theology she embraced as a Catholic. Always seeking to know and love God, Sister Ann pursued and earned a doctoral degree in historical theology from the prestigious Vanderbilt University. Her dissertation researched Karl Rahner’s Theology of Religious Life. The lone fish that entertained her over the past months was named Karl which demonstrates her esteem for Father Rahner’s timeless teachings.

 Sister Ann’s professional career spanned fifty years with the majority spent at college, seminary, and university levels. One former student claims that her classes were always well prepared and definitely worth the commitment she required. A seminary student, now a priest for 34 years, gratefully asserts that Sister Ann positively influenced his theology of Jesus which he lives and preaches to this day. 

 When there was need to initiate a new program or course of studies, Sister Ann she took the responsibility with professional leadership. When she needed a intellectual challenge, she became a student again and earned a pilot’s license. When she saw the need to help women in Nicaragua follow their dream for higher education, Sister Ann founded a program, Adelante Mujer. 

 Convert, vowed woman religious, teacher, student, doctor, professor, pilot, leader, foundress: Sister Ann McKean, CSA, PhD, “crossed the line, won the prize, and heard God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed.” She peacefully died on April 11, 2020, just on time to celebrate the feast of the resurrection (April 12) with Jesus the Anointed whom she faithfully followed all her life. 

 Sister Diane, CSA ~ May 2020 

 

board-You make the difference

New Beginnings

The school year in Nicaragua, unlike that in the United States, follows the calendar year.  When we visited students in December, they were completing the second semester of 2019.  As is our practice, we met with each class of students currently funded by Adelante Mujer. Continue reading “New Beginnings”

Grateful – part 1

We hear how thankful the students are, but you don’t have the same opportunity. You deserve to receive the gratitude since the support is coming directly from you, the donors. Below are some comments from the most recent applicants who have been accepted into the program. The thoughts are from the heart, the translation from Google.  Continue reading “Grateful – part 1”

In Case You’re Wondering

When people donate they usually want to know two things: Is my money going to the cause I want to support and do recipients appreciate what I give?

The reply to the first concern is a definite “Yes, every penny of every donation is used to help young women in Nicaragua who are studying to be medical doctors. Every penny.” Continue reading “In Case You’re Wondering”

Dr Sayonara

Sayonara

*A note written in September 2017 by Sayonara in her academic year 5. Translated by Google

Hello Sister Ann,

I hope you are well, I am very pleased to greet you. I send greetings and thanks to all of our donors who make it possible for us scholars to continue studying and continue to help needy women. Continue reading “Sayonara”

maternity ward

The Maternity Ward

When we travel to Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas, we regularly visit the local hospital to check on our students and some of our graduates who are now practicing doctors. My first visit was in 2016 and I was shocked to see the conditions (see the Jan. 2017 blog ‘My First Trip: Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas).

Continue reading “The Maternity Ward”

Escarleth

It has been just over one year since I made my first visit to Bilwi, Nicaragua. Since then the students I met, especially the new applicants, have been on my mind. They are hard to forget.

Continue reading “Escarleth”

christmas

Feliz Navidad – Merry Christmas – Krismis Yamni

Esther
As I sit here in the Managua Airport awaiting my flight from the balmy tropics of Nicaragua to the freezing blasts of another Wisconsin winter, I have time to reflect on our recent interviews with our current students from medical school in Puerto Cabezas as well as the candidates, young women who, despite living in one of the most impoverished regions in the world, refuse to give up on their dream of bringing medical help to those who, like themselves, have had to survive with little or nothing.

Continue reading “Feliz Navidad – Merry Christmas – Krismis Yamni”