Sister Maria Luz Ortiz

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sister Maria Luz learned early in life to reach out to others. “My parents awakened in me a desire to help those in need,” she says. That awakening carried over into her religion classes where she assisted those who needed special help.

She gathered neighborhood children and took them to catechism classes, becoming a catechist herself at age 12. “As I look back,” she recalls, “I can see that God was preparing me for the call to religious life.”

Hearing of the work the Mission Helpers, she wrote to the Superior and was invited to visit. “Each visit was an affirmation that this was the Community in which I wanted to spend the rest of my life,” she says.

Her first mission was in Barcelona, Venezuela, where she worked with the poorest of the poor, teaching religion and vocational skills and counseling on family relationships and employment opportunities. Later ministries took her to Caracas, Venezuela; Brooklyn, New York; and Baltimore, Maryland, where she was director of the Hispanic Pastoral Center for the Archdiocese.

Later ministries include the Archdiocese of Washington as Coordinator of Hispanic Catechesis; Harcourt Brace Religion Publishers as National Consultant for Catechesis with Hispanics; and, most recently as Delegate for Religious for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Sister Maria Luz holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Loyola University Maryland, and a master’s degree in Theology from St. Mary’s Seminary.