Maryknoll Sisters Celebrate 100 Years of Mission in China

MARYKNOLL, N.Y.—It has been 100 years since the first group of Maryknoll Sisters were assigned to China on September 12th, 1921. The Maryknoll Sisters foundress, Mother Mary Joseph and the founder of the Maryknoll Society (Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers), Father James Anthony Walsh felt certain that this was time for the first group of Sisters to leave for China.  Six Sisters were chosen: Sisters  Mary Lawrence Foley, Barbara Froehlich,  Rose Leifels, Mary Paul McKenna, Monica Moffatt and Imelda Sheridan. These six Sisters, accompanied by Father Walsh and a priest friend from Boston, sailed on the S.S. Monteagle from Vancouver on September 24th, 1921 and arrived in Kowloon, Hong Kong, on November 3rd, 1921. As far as the missioners knew, they perhaps would never see their homeland again.

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Founded in 1912, Maryknoll Sisters is the first US-based congregation of women religious dedicated to foreign mission. Working primarily among the poor and marginalized in 18 places around the world, they now number approximately 300+ members from both the US and overseas.