OBITUARY: Pax Christi USA saddened by the death of Sr. Esther Pineda, CSJ, national council member

Esther PinedaPax Christi USA was saddened to learn that Sr. Esther Pineda, CSJ, a member of the Pax Christi USA National Council, has died following a short illness.

“Sr. Esther was a woman of great faith and was passionate when it came to issues concerning peace and justice. Her steady and gentle manner was a major contribution to Pax Christi USA,” stated Pax Christi USA Executive Director Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN. “I thank our good God for Sr. Esther and our world is a better place because of the compassion and tenderness which she shared with everyone whose lives she touched.”

Sr. Esther, with Jean Sammon, at Pax Christi USA's prayer service at the MLK Center in Atlanta in 2013.

Sr. Esther, with Jean Sammon, at Pax Christi USA’s prayer service at the MLK Center in Atlanta in 2013.

Sr. Esther has been a member of Pax Christi USA’s National Council for the past 5 years, helping to guide Pax Christi USA through a time of transition. Bilingual and bicultural, of Mexican ancestry, Sr. Esther was a passionate advocate for undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Her last assignment was working in a position of advocacy and service to them in El Paso, Texas. She also started and led the Pax Christi local group in Salina, Kansas since 2008.

“Sr. Esther’s presence was always both calming and challenging. Her
commitment to working for justice sparked by her belief in the Gospel call to all of us to a life of non-violence,” said Sr. Josie Chrosniak, HM, National Chair of the Pax Christi USA National Council. “She will be missed not only by the Pax Christi community but by all whose lives she touched.”

“After hearing about Sr. Esther’s cancer, shocked, I wrote her on April 23: ‘You’re not alone, the Risen One walks beside you as shepherd.'”, stated National Council member Fr. John Rausch, glmy. “She guarded the flock against the wolves of violence and oppression. Now the Good Shepherd guards her. We were blessed to know one who understood, and lived, the imagery of John 10, looking out for the flock among us.”

Sister Esther was 74 years-old when she passed on May 6th. A vigil service is planned for 7 p.m. Sunday, May 10, in the Sacred Heart Chapel at the Nazareth Motherhouse in Concordia, Kansas. Her funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m., also at the Motherhouse.

Read more about Sr. Esther by clicking here.

We invite you to leave notes and short stories of remembrance in the comments section below. 

14 responses to “OBITUARY: Pax Christi USA saddened by the death of Sr. Esther Pineda, CSJ, national council member

  1. Judy Coode

    I met Esther years ago when she worked here in DC for NETWORK and was happy to reconnect with her at Pax Christi events. She was a lovely person. Prayers for her religious sisters and her family; they will miss her dearly.

  2. Fr. Ed Carpenter

    Sister Esther was no stranger to the Southwest USA, but it was only a few months ago that she came to work in El Paso, and joined our local PC group. We were very excited to have a member of the national council of PCUSA be among us. We knew her only a short while but grew so close to Sister Esther. She gave our group a real boost in no time at all. We will miss her greatly.

  3. Cathleen Crayton

    I also met Sr. Esther when I first joined the board of NETWORK, where she had been serving as well. I learned so much from her — from how to make an “ask” to organizational financial responsibility.

    More recently I have had the privilege of working with Sr. Esther as a PCART representative on the PCUSA Program Committee.

    I am shocked and very saddened to hear of Sr. Esther’s passing from this world to the full embrace of God’s waiting arms. I too, say, loudly Presente!

  4. Sr. Esther will be deeply missed within the Pax Christi family and the wider U.S. Catholic community. We have lost a great light in these dark times but I know that her spirit lives on in the many people she has mentored and motivated to build a world of peace with justice.

  5. Sr. Esther’s death is our loss and heaven’s gain. I so enjoyed getting to know her and working with her at Council meetings. She was a dynamo!

  6. Ligory Fernandes

    May her soul rest in Peace.

  7. I am deeply saddened by the death of Sister Esther. I also knew her through NETWORK and always appreciated her gentle, thoughtful presence. May she rest in peace.

  8. Sister Janice Thome OP

    Your write up captures so well Esther, the gentle and passionate woman. Now her total love and giving has her in eternal peace while advocating for us.

  9. Sr. Ida R. Berresheim, CSJ

    When Esther came to El Paso last fall to support the great migration of children and mothers from Central America, she immediately began work with the Pax Christi group of El Paso even as she continued some of the projects she had begun in her work as peace and justice coordinator in the diocese of Salina. Her work and zeal never interfered with her having time for others with her gentle, good humored presence. What a wonderful Sister of St. Joseph.

  10. Mary Yelenick

    Oh, the world will miss Esther. Her commitment and compassion — combined with her gentleness and humor — inspired many of us. She was always where God wanted more of us to be.

  11. Blessings and pece , Jerry and MJ Park and Little Friends For Peace are saddened at the loss of Sr. Esther. We will hole her in the light . She was an inspiration as she worked on Envonmental issues . I was on the Global Restoration committee with her.

  12. Jean Sammon

    Esther & I became friends when we both worked at NETWORK. She was a joy to be with. She loved to sing (she sang the Mananita song to me on my birthdays) and play games (cards, scrabble) and go to parties, and had a special love for her religious community, Pax Christi, and for immigrants. She stayed with me when she came to DC for Pax Christi meetings, and we had great times. When I visited her in Kansas a few years ago, she greeted me with a bouquet of Kansas wheat. I will miss her dearly. I will not be able to go to her funeral because I’ll be on the Pax Christi pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I’m sure she will be OK with that.

  13. Kathleen Pittman, CSJ

    Sister Esther came to New Orleans not long after Katrina with some other CSJ’s and lay folk from Kansas and assisted our parishioners in St. Gabriel parish clean out their houses from the floods of the hurricane. She was a wonderful presence of gentleness and passion for justice. It was a privilege to get to know her and have her here helping us in our distress. I give thanks for her life and the way she shared it with us.
    Kathleen Pittman, CSJ

  14. Sr. Esther’s voice was the first I heard the year we were both new to the Council. She called and asked if we could room together! Her calm when needed and firm when need voice for justice and peace was a guiding light to all. Her legacy lives on in hearts evens her presence is missed. I’ll be listening for her wise voice again, as it comes in a myriad of ways.