I’m traveling right now so not on top of all of the news but just learned that Ada Marìa Isasi-Díaz, influential Drew theologian, has passed away. Here’s the announcement from her blog. And here is the obituary:
Dr. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz died on May 13, 2012 at age 69 after having received the Holy Sacraments. Ada Maria was born in La Habana, Cuba, on March 22, 1943, the daughter of Josefina Diaz de Isasi and Domingo G. Isasi-Battle (RIP 2005). She lived her youth in Cuba, studying in La Habana where she graduated from Merici Academy in 1960.
She moved to the United States in 1960 with her family, and soon after entered the Ursuline novitiate in Santa Rosa, California. After finishing studies at New Rochelle College, NY, Ada was sent to Lima, Peru by the order to work among the poor in the “barriada de Miramar”. There she became passionate in caring for the dispossessed and building the “kin-dom” of God.
After leaving the convent in 1969, she lived with her family in the United States. Realizing that she had a continued calling to be an educator and a voice for the underprivileged, Ada Maria moved in 1975 to Rochester, New York where she served in two inner city parishes and became involved in the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC).
Ada Maria earned a Masters of Divinity and a Doctorate in Theology from Union Theological Seminary, in New York City in 1990. At Union, she started her lifelong engagement and leadership in the community of Liberation Theologians. Continuing her commitment to women’s issues, she coined the term Mujerista theology to make explicit the Latina voice in Feminist Liberation Theology.
In 1991, Ada Maria became a professor of Ethics and Theology at Drew University, Madison, NJ from where she retired in 2009. Students were very fond of her and described her as someone who was a demanding teacher, fair, honest and passionate. While at Drew University, she co-founded the Hispanic Theological Institute for training of Hispanic Theologians.
She was a prolific writer, completing eight books, and many scholarly articles. Her seminal work was Mujerista Theology: a Theology for the 21st Century.
She is survived and remembered by her mother, sisters, and brother, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, her nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, friends and the community of women she mentored and inspired.