Eileen Charleton

COUNTRY: Venezuela, US and Tanzania
FOCUS: Education

Eileen is from the Diocese of Buffalo, NY where she taught third grade at St. Thomas Aquinas School for eight years. She also worked as a Director of Religious Education at Immaculate Conception Parish in Wellsville, NY, before joining Maryknoll in 1988. Holding Masters degrees in both education and theology have prepared her for work that is most life-giving to her… with children of all ages in reading, religious education and scripture through games, stories and songs (even though she cannot sing!).

Eileen’s first 7 years as a lay missioner were spent living and working with the poor in Venezuela. In 1995 she responded to an organizational need of MKLM and returned to the home center in Ossining, N.Y. to serve on the Orientation Team. In this role Eileen helped to coordinate a four-month residential program to prepare new candidates for their overseas experience with Maryknoll Lay Missioners. A development of this work was Eileen’s taking on the role of Director of Mission Services at the home center. Throughout her time in New York Eileen was extremely active in the local Pax Christi group as well as in the broader community. In early 2006 Eileen returned overseas, this time to Tanzania, Africa.

She lived and worked in Musoma. Her primary ministry was teaching at St. John Bosco school as well as with young people in an after school program and with children living with AIDS. She worked with another teacher in the Nursery I group, with children ranging in four to six years of age. Eileen’s work was to help the children develop elementary English skills so the children can adapt to the educational curriculum, which is taught in English. She also worked two days a week with a Marist brother designing workshops for high school students to explore and deepen their faith experience.

She is retired but continues involved in her community in Bufalo, NY.