Sister Mary 'Maria' Drzewiecki

Nicaraguan ministry was her greatest adventure

Drzewiecki_Maria_Sister100pxSister Mary "Maria" Drzewiecki was born in Green Bay in 1943 to Zigmund (Zeke) and Rose Drzewiecki. She grew up in Duck Creek (now Howard) along with her older brother, Leon, where they attended St. John the Baptist Catholic School.  Her excellent teachers included Sisters Mary Grace, Rose (LaPorte), Mary Joseph and Joan.  After high school at St. Joseph Academy, she entered St. Francis Convent in 1961 where she discovered the joys of having many "sisters."

After profession of vows, Sister Mary taught school for two years at St. Matthew in Allouez and one year at Holy Angels in Darboy (now Holy Spirit of Kimberly/Darboy).  Then she volunteered for a new mission being considered by the Community: to collaborate with the Capuchins working in the Atlantic region of Nicaragua. After finishing an elementary education degree at St. Norbert College in De Pere, she studied Spanish for six months in Mexico.

Then began the greatest adventure of her life:  twenty-six years of pastoral teamwork in evangelization and the formation of lay ministers for the rural zone of eastern Nicaragua.  These formation programs focused on the preparation of deacons and lay leaders who served as catechists, rural teachers (including adult literacy), health promoters, midwives, or agro-ministry promoters.

After returning from the missions in the late 1990s to attend to her family's needs, Sister "Maria" has been involved in Hispanic outreach and translating with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay as well as social justice ministry.