The unfolding of the mission spirit of women in the United States emerged/took shape 100 years ago, when 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!
The first journey to China realized our Sisters call to overseas mission in a life of love and sacrifice; 100 years later this spark still continues today!
Meet the First Pioneers to China: Learn About Them Below!
Sr. Mary Lawrence Foley: https://www.maryknollsisters.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Sister-Mary-Lawrence-Foley.pdf
Sr. Barbara Froehlich: https://www.maryknollsisters.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Sister-M.-Barbara-Froehlich-MM.pdf
Sr. Rose Leifels: https://www.maryknollsisters.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Sister-M.-Rose-Leifels-MM.pdf
Sr. Mary Paul McKenna: https://www.maryknollsisters.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Sister-Mary-Paul-McKenna.pdf
Sr. Monica Moffatt: https://www.maryknollsisters.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Sister-M.-Monica-Moffatt-MM.pdf
Sr. Imelda Sheridan: https://www.maryknollsisters.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Sister-Imelda-Sheridan-MM.pdf
Click here to read journal entries from the Sisters first Travel Diary to China!
“These first pioneers did not know each other, but were joined together through the gospel and their shared passion for a life of mission”
Our Foundress, Mother Mary Joseph spoke of the missionary vocation in these words:
“The dominant factor in our lives is love – love of God, and love of neighbor as we love ourselves for love of God. . . . I have thought very much of this love of God, and its qualities in the life of a missioner. The missioner’s portion is a special consciousness of God’s thirst and hunger for the love of all. . . . It was to satisfy this love that we came here.” (MMJ 1949)
In the following years, the Sisters lived out Mother Mary Joseph’s dictum that “God has yet a great work for us to do.”
Go back in time with this special video of our Sisters in China 100 years ago!
100 years later and our mission continues… to “Make God’s Love Visible!”
Meet our current Maryknoll Sister missioners in China!
Today we have 300+ Sisters sharing in the mission of Jesus providing hope and a better life to those on the periphery around the world.
All of our Sisters come from different cultures and join together through the gospel and their shared passion for a life of mission just like our first six pioneers who set out to China 100 years ago!
“Living close to Christ is the whole secret of our Maryknoll vocation.”
-Mother Mary Joseph, Foundress
Purchase our DVD Trailblazers in Habits to learn more about the pioneer work of the Maryknoll Sisters! Available in both DVD and USB format, click here