2023 Poverello Community Service Award Recipient:
Anne C. Reissner
Dr. Anne Reissner began her professional career as an elementary school teacher as a member of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia. After serving for thirteen years, Anne left the religious community, but remained engaged in the ministry of religious education. After completing a master’s degree in the Administration of Religious Education, she served as a Director of Religious Education in various Roman Catholic parish settings in New Jersey. In the early 1980’s, she enrolled in graduate studies at Andover Newton Theological School and earned the Master of Divinity degree and the Doctor of Ministry degree. In 1981 Anne married Edward Reissner. Having completed her studies, she was invited to join the faculty of St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, WI where she served as Director of Supervised Ministry for seven years. In 1992 she assumed the position of Academic Dean at the Maryknoll School of Theology in Ossining, NY. Although this graduate theology program closed in 1995, she remained at Maryknoll serving as the Director of Study at the Center for Mission Research and Study at Maryknoll until retiring in 2004.
While a resident of Ossining, NY also the location of Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Anne was a founding member of an organization entitled “Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison”. It is a not-for-profit that worked with the academic community, volunteers, and the administration of Sing Sing to restart a college program at Sing Sing when the Federal and State funding was discontinued. The organization is now functioning in five prisons and has graduated over a 1000 students.
Throughout her career, Dr. Reissner has served on local and national boards including a term as president of the Association of Theological Field Education, membership on the Association of Theological Schools Committee on Globalization, and a term as president of the American Society of Missiology.
Since moving to Tucson in June 2007, Anne has become involved in outreach to the homeless and in education concerning the plight of immigrants crossing the Sonoran Desert in search of a better life. She has served on the Board of Directors for Poverello House since it was established.
Criteria for Selection
The person or organization selected to receive the Poverello Community Service Award will have over a significant period of time:
- Given witness to values that are consistent with the spirit and mission of Poverello House.
- Provided direct service or advocacy for persons in Southern Arizona and its border who are marginalized economically and/or suffer due to discrimination.
- Demonstrated courage and perseverance in working toward a more just society.