Sr. Mary Jean Tague, DC

Lifetime Achievement Award
For a lifetime of contributions to the ministry

Sr. Mary Jean Tague, DC
Proyecto Juan Diego
Brownsville, Texas

Sr. Mary Jean Tague, DC, has been an inspiration to many and a positive impact on the lives of thousands in the United States and abroad.

After becoming a Daughter of Charity in 1955, Sr. Mary Jean taught grade school in North Carolina. But her teaching career was short-lived. The Daughters of Charity identified a need for pharmacists to serve the poor, so Sr. Mary Jean studied and earned a degree in pharmacy at St. John's University. Learning of the desperate need for pharmacists in Bolivia, she eagerly volunteered to serve in a mission there. From 1967 to 1983, she served as director of pharmacy at the Elizabeth Seton Hospital in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

The needs were great, and wanting to be even more helpful to her patients, Sr. Mary Jean returned to the U.S. to study nursing. She then returned to Bolivia and served as a nursing supervisor, instructor in pharmacology, and director of the Elizabeth Seton School of Nursing.

She was called back to the U.S. to serve as a visiting nurse in Brooklyn, N.Y., and then director of a visiting nurses agency in Boston. In 1989, she arrived at St. Vincent's in Bridgeport, Conn., and was the driving force behind the hospital's first parish nurse program. Under her leadership, the program grew to its current size, with 250 nurses in 70 parishes and congregations throughout the area.

In 1995, Sr. Mary Jean was selected to help re-establish a hospital in Balombo, Angola, where civil war had raged for 20 years. Her assignment turned into a three-year stay. When she came back to the States, she returned to parish nursing for a time until she accepted a mission to serve the poor and vulnerable along the Mexican border in Texas.

Wherever she was needed, she answered the call and served. She inspires through action and word. Those who know Sr. Mary Jean are compelled to do more than they otherwise might do on their own. Her loving demeanor, faith and dedication to do whatever it takes to help where help is needed inspires others to stretch themselves and serve in greater ways.