Judy Ress

FOCUS: Education, Healthcare

Judy joined MKLM with David Molineaux and their two sons, Peter and Benjamin, in 1990. Judy is originally from Massillon, Ohio and has lived and worked in Latin America since 1970. She was a member of the Cleveland Mission Team to El Salvador (1970-72), she worked in the Peruvian Andes (1973-76), and she worked in Chile with the American Friends Service Committee (1977-81).

Judy returned to Peru (Lima) as an editor of Noticias Aliadas/Latinamerica Press (1982-89) and then went to Chile with Maryknoll in 1991. Both of her sons, Peter and Benjamin, were born in Chile. Judy has a doctorate in Feminist Theology from the San Francisco Seminary and has Masters Degrees in Economics from the New School of Social Research in NYC and in Spanish from the Universidad Internacional de Mexico. Judy is the author of Eco-feminism in Latin America (Orbis, 2006).

Judy worked in two ministries: Women’s Theology Project Con-Spirando and CapacitarChile, LA-Holistic Health Education and Spirituality. Since 1992, the Con-spirando Collective has nourished feminist and eco-feminist theological debate in Latin America through its quarterly journal, Con-spirando: Revista latinoamericana de ecofeminismo, espiritualidad y teología (as of 2009, they have published 60 issues), as well as other publications; through its workshops, seminars, lectures and radio shows and yearly cycle of rituals; and through its annual 10-day Eco-feminist Summer School.

Since 1993, Capacitar-Chile has been developing formation and training programs in holistic health designed to improve the quality of life of poor women. During this period the Capacitar team has taught simple procedures for relieving trauma and stress to more than 3,000 women. Specifically, Capacitar Chile works with women leaders in grassroots organizations with the ability to repeat the experience in their communities, women religious living in poor neighborhoods, grassroots organizers working with discriminated minorities (ethnic, sexual orientation, social class, age, etc.), pastoral agents belonging to different denominations who are open to processes of change, Professionals who work directly with women in different areas (education, religion, legal, mental health, health in general, etc.), people working with HIV/AIDS who are organized in groups. As of 2003, Capacitar has its own holistic health and spirituality center, Tremonhue (“place of healing” in the Mapuche language of mapudungún), where it holds its workshops, retreats and rituals.

Judy’s sons —Peter (1977) and Ben (1979) both are married with Chilean women. Peter is father to Matilde and Leonor and Ben father to Agatha. Judy now enjoys being a granny of three darling little girls. Peter is a practicing psychoanalyst in Chile and Ben got his doctorate from Oxford in linguistics—his thesis was on Mapudungun. He just received a three-year grant from the U of Edinburgh to continue researching Mapudungun and creating a data base for everybody to access of the development of this rich Mapuche language. She continues to be involved with both Con-spirando and Tremonhue. She does alot of writing!