Local Holy Union Sister elected to General Council

TAUNTON, Mass. — This past summer Holy Union Sisters gathered in Dublin, Ireland for their three-week long General Chapter where they reflected on the life of the congregation and set future directions. The delegates, who came from all the geographic areas of the congregation, also elected the General Council who will lead the congregation for the next six years. 

Sister Paula Coelho from the United States Province was chosen as congregational leader. The three Sisters who will serve as councilors with her are Sisters Teresa Finn from the English-Irish-Tanzanian Province, Caroline Bongnavti from the Region of Cameroon and Ilsa Jofré from the Province of Argentina.

Sister Paula, a Taunton native, graduated from St. Joseph School and the former Bishop Cassidy High School. She received a BA in language arts from Trinity University, Washington and a masters in education administration from Loyola University, Baltimore. She studied Haitian Creole in preparation for her ministry with the Haitian community in Boston.

Sister Paula has ministered in the Boston Archdiocese for several years. In 1991 she established an ESOL Program, HALT (Helping Adults Learn Today) at St. Angela Parish in Mattapan. She was a member of the U.S. Province Leadership Team from 2008 to 2013. For the past five years she served as general secretary for the Holy Union Sisters and in that role, has participated in international meetings of congregational leaders. Most recently, she was also a literacy teacher for the Boston Archdiocese Catholic Charities South and chairperson of the board of the Country Day School of the Holy Union in Groton. She presently resides at St. Anthony Convent, Taunton. 

Sister Paula will leave for Rome in mid-November where she and her council will take up residence in the Holy Union Sisters Generalate and meet with the present General Council for a period of transition. In addressing the General Chapter, Sister Paula noted that the Holy Union charism of union “not only calls us to a new awakening of how we belong to one another, but also is a call to go much deeper and broader.” 

To learn more about the sisters, visit www.holyunionsisters.org.

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