Amid joyous celebration, five Sisters of Mercy were elected on April 7, to lead the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, West Midwest Community, which stretches from San Francisco, to Detroit, Mich. Elected were: Sister Susan Sanders, RSM, Omaha, Neb., formerly of Chicago, Ill., president; Sister Ana María Pineda, San Jose, vice president; Sister Maria Klosowski, RSM, Omaha, Neb., formerly of Farmington Hills, Mich.; Sister Margaret Mary Hinz, Omaha, Neb., formerly of Chicago, Ill; and Sister Peg Maloney, RSM, Denver, Colo.
The election took place during the West Midwest Community’s Assembly held April 3-8 at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare hotel. The newly elected members of the West Midwest Community Leadership Team will begin their term on July 1. They will live in Omaha, Neb., where the Central Administrative Office for the West Midwest Community is located.
Sister Ana María Pineda, RSM
A Sister of Mercy for many decades, Sister Ana María was elected vice president. Born in El Salvador, Central America, she migrated to the U.S. with her parents when she was two. Starting as an elementary teacher, much of her ministry has revolved around some aspect of Hispanic ministry and theology, including teaching in schools that served inner-city, under-served Hispanic/Latino families in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and working in a parish in the predominately Hispanic Mission District of San Francisco. She has spent the past 21 years at Santa Clara University in California as a tenured faculty member in the religious studies department, mentoring many Latino/a students, as well as coordinating and convening the Latino/a faculty on campus. In addition, she served as the director of the Graduate Pastoral Ministries Program at Santa Clara University between 1999-2005.
Prior to that, she was co-director of the Office of Hispanic Ministry and Hispanic Consultant to the Diocesan Catechetical Office in the Diocese of San Jose, and faculty member and director of Hispanic Ministry Program for 10 years at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago She was instrumental in promoting the earliest Hispanic Church dialogue in the national Encuentros of lay ministers and bishops. Over the years, the US Conference of Bishops has invited her to participate in the Bishops’ Committee for Woman and the Committee for Hispanic Ministry. With fellow Hispanic theologians she contributed early on in the newly established Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians in the United States (ACHTUS) and served as its President in 2000.
Sister Ana María was a member of the committee that created the Hispanic Theological Initiative (HTI) which supports Latino/as in theological doctoral studies She is the author of Romero and Grande, Companions on the Journey, which is about the friendship between Archbishop Óscar Romero, who will be declared a saint later this year, and Jesuit Fr. Rutilio Grande, both martyrs of El Salvador. She has a B.A. in Liberal Studies from Russell College, Burlingame, M.A. in Theology, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Ill.; Doctorate in Ministry candidate at Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, and a Doctorate in Sacred Theology, Pastoral/Applied Theology, Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca, Spain.