Sister Mary Ann Pajakowski CSC hails from South Bend, Indiana. Sister met the Sisters of the Holy Cross while attending St. Joseph’s High School in South Bend. After graduating from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame IN, Sister taught social studies courses in Catholic high schools in Illinois and Indiana for 24 years and received Masters Degrees in American Studies from the University of Minnesota and in administration for non profits from the University of Notre Dame. While teaching at St. Joseph’s HS in South Bend, Sister Mary Ann began to volunteer in the summers to teach religion in the migrant camps in Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan. As migrants began to “settle out” Sister Mary Ann began to work with Latino youth new to South Bend schools and city life. She and Sister Suzanne Brennan CSC moved to live above La Casa de Amistad, a youth center founded by the Holy Cross priests and community leaders in South Bend and continued working with youth and their parents with Girls Scouts, religious ed, community organizing and also hosted lay volunteers from the Sisters of the Holy Cross Associates program who lived with her at La Casa, along with a refugee family from Cambodia and graduate students from the University of Notre Dame. When Holy Cross Ministries was started in Utah, Sister left South Bend for Utah, working with the education departments at Holy Cross Ministries and later for Catholic Community Services at the Wiegand Center in Salt Lake providing programs for homeless preschoolers in shelter and transitional housing. Sister returned to Holy Cross Ministries to resume education work in afterschool, summer, school readiness and Parents as Teachers programming. Sister Mary Ann grew up in South Bend with her parents, John and Irene, older brother Bill and younger sister Margy. Dad and Bill have died; mom is 98 and doing well at St. Paul’s Retirement Center in South Bend and Margy lives in Chicago. Nieces and nephews and their families are in and around South Bend. Sister Mary Ann enjoys gardening, hiking, reading, skiing, camping, and anything outside. Dog Bro shares the house and last year Sister Mary Ann started a beehive in the back yard to support pollination and the bee population. Sister serves on the Sisters of the Holy Cross Congregational Justice Committee and is a member of the Saint Mary’s College Notre Dame IN Board of Trustees. She is a member of St. Mary’s Parish in Park City.
Sister Mary Ann Pajakowski, CSC
Director of Education