Maryknoll Sister Mary Agnes Grenough, a nurse, dies at 87

Maryknoll Sister Mary Grenough walked with two young girls through the Hlaing Tharyar Township in Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, in 2015. (Photo Special to the Record by Sean Sprague)

Maryknoll Sister Mary Agnes Grenough, formerly Mary Joseph Sarto, died Jan. 30 in Maryknoll, N.Y. She was 87 and in her 65th year of religious life.

Sister Grenough, a native of Louisville, Ky., ministered in healthcare for more than four decades in the Philippines, Myanmar and Cambodia.

Her first mission was to the Philippines from 1963 to 1982. She served as a nursing supervisor, founded and directed the Diocesan Family Life Center providing healthcare education, served as secretary of a Diocesan Social Action Committee and provided paramedic training in rural areas.

Sister Grenough returned to Maryknoll where she served her congregation in the Office of Social Concerns until 1985.

She later returned to Quezon City, Philippines, where she served as a member of the Nationwide Council for Health Development, as a member of the rural missionaries of the Philippines and as a member of a committee advocating for political detainees until 2001.

Sister Grenough also traveled to Myanmar and Cambodia where she taught English, served individuals living with HIV/AIDS and helped to develop the Myanmar Catholic HIV/AIDS Network until 2015.

She returned to the U.S. to retire, first at the Maryknoll Sisters community in Monrovia, Cali., and then at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, N.Y.

She is survived by brothers Vincent and Richard Grenough and three sisters Millie Grenough, Rose Grenough Nett and Jeanie Percy and members of her religious community.

A private memorial service was held Feb. 5 in Maryknoll, N.Y. Sister Grenough’s body was donated to science and her cremains will be buried at a later date.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Millie Grenough, 45 Moreland Road, New Haven, Conn., 06511.

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