Q & A with Good Shepherd Board Member Sr. Maureen McGowan

It’s been over 175 years since a small group of Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd landed at the southern tip of Manhattan after 30 miserable days crossing the Atlantic Ocean aboard the immigrant ship Utica. Sent from France by their foundress, St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier, the nuns came to America to attend to the needs of suffering women and girls who could not live at home because of abuse or emotional difficulties.

After being processed in New York, the sisters made their way via stagecoach to Louisville, Kentucky, where they founded the first mission of the order of Good Shepherd Sisters in the United States. They would return to New York City in 1857 to work with female prisoners and their families. That first ministry in Manhattan would eventually grow into Good Shepherd Services, which today offers 80 programs in the New York tri-state area and serves over 30,000 children and families.

It’s a legacy that continues to inspire awe and gratitude in Sr. Maureen McGowan, province leader of the New York-Toronto Province of the Good Shepherd Sisters, as her community prepares to celebrate its 175th anniversary May 12. McGowan sat down with Global Sisters Report in her office on the top floor of a Catholic high school in Astoria, Queens.

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Source: Global Sisters Report