The World Council of Churches (WCC) paid tribute to Sister Monica Cooney, from New Zealand, a loved and respected member of the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary, who passed away peacefully on 7 March at the age of 93.
Sister Monica had been appointed by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity as a consultant to the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism of the WCC and served the WCC Unit on Mission and Evangelism as a seconded staff, from January 1990 to December 1996. Her appointment had been made in collaboration with the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. While in Geneva, she worked closely not only with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples but also with the Unions of Superiors General in Rome.
Sister Monica has actively contributed not only to the development of relations with the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism but, through the Joint Working Group of which she was also a member, to the relations between the WCC and the Roman Catholic Church.
Highly respected and appreciated by all her colleagues, Sister Monica generously shared her experience and spirituality as a Roman Catholic sister, her kindness, her readiness to work with all her colleagues, her eagerness to enter in a dialogue with all. Her gentleness was instrumental when discussing divisive issues (e.g. proselytism), her theological reflections always constructive and valuable, and her spirituality a living example for many.
The younger generation may benefit from some of her theological and missiological reflections, published in the Ecumenical Review and the International Review of Mission.