Sister Pamela Beans, MM

Born: March 26, 1953
Entered: September 2, 1977
Died: July 22, 1981

On July 22, 1981, at 11:00 a.m., on the outskirts of Santiago, Chile, Sister Pamela Beans was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street. She was knocked unconscious and died shortly after. Pam was 28 years old and had been in Maryknoll for less than four years.

Pamela Beans was born on March 26, 1953 in Los Angeles, California to Irene Katherine (Nosco) and Roger Beans. She had a younger sister, Cathy. Pamela attended grammar school at St. Francis Xavier and continued her education at Burbank High School, graduating in 1971. She received a B.A. from California State University, Northridge in 1975 and continued another year to gain a teaching credential. She then began teaching within L.A. Schools as a language teacher and later that year began teaching at St. Francis Xavier in Burbank, California. She first became interested in Maryknoll through a magazine subscription to The Field Afar. She communicated with the Maryknoll Sister’s for several years before entering on September 2, 1977.

Pamela began her mission work in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa. While there she contributed to the youth work of the Maryknoll Sisters. She had many skills as a teacher, musician, and artist. However, her own words tell us what was central in her life: “I believe that it is not the job that really matters. I really feel that my only commitment is to God and the person of Jesus and my relationships with the people I’ve been sent to love. It is my person that I give, rather than my skills, which are secondary.” Pamela’s next assignment brought her to Chile in January of 1980.

Whether it was doing Mission Education work, studying the language in Cochabamba, or visiting the different houses in Chile, she endeared herself to the people. Today, we celebrate Sister Pamela’s birth and entry into Life in all its fullness and mystery; and we remember with gratitude how we have been touched and graced through the sharing of her life in Maryknoll and in mission.