Sister Madge Karecki, SSJ-TOSF has been named Assistant National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States. She has served as President of St. Augustine College of South Africa, Johannesburg, since 2013. She succeeds Monsignor Robert Fuhrman, who received an appointment in the Archdiocese of Newark in October 2014. Sister Madge will begin her service January 2015.
"Sister Madge will bring to this National Office and our entire network her tremendous abilities as an educator as well as her deep compassion as a missionary," said Oblate Father Andrew Small, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, who made the appointment. "She has been a tireless advocate for an ever deeper understanding of the essential missionary nature of the Church, one that has found renewed energy in the words and actions of Pope Francis," he added.
Born in Chicago, Sister Madge spent 21 years as a missionary in South Africa. She earned a doctorate in missiology from the University of South Africa, the first woman to receive this degree from a South African university. She has also taught at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels at the University of South Africa (Johannesburg), and Mundelein Seminary/St. Mary of the Lake University (Archdiocese of Chicago). Honored by the National Association of Distance Education and Open Learning in South Africa, she also served on an education task team for the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue that produced a curriculum guide for those teaching Islam, African Traditional Religion and Interreligious Dialogue at Catholic seminaries and institutes for higher education. Returning to Chicago in 2005 to work in ministry for her Religious Community, she was asked to serve as Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies office there, and later on the Societies' National Board of Directors, as Vice President.
"With the heart of a missionary, and the experience and credentials of a gifted educator, Sister Madge will offer a vital service to the Pontifical Mission Societies," said Cardinal Francis George, OMI, Archbishop-Emeritus of Chicago, who appointed Sister Madge to lead the Mission Office in the archdiocese in 2008. "I know of Sister Madge's special talents personally, and I am pleased that she will bring these gifts to the Church at the national level."