Sister Elizabeth Lee

May 12, 1924 - February 4, 2014
May 12, 1924 – February 4, 2014

Maryknoll, NY Sister Elizabeth Lee died suddenly on February 4, 2014, at Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, NY. She was 89 years old and celebrated 70 years as a Maryknoll Sister in September of last year.

Elizabeth Lee was born on May 12, 1924, to Lou She Lee and William Lee in San  Francisco, CA.  She had two brothers, Andrew and Victor Lee, who predeceased her.

Elizabeth attended St. Mary’s High School, Pittsburgh, PA, from 1939-1941, graduating from  Mt. Gollitzin Academy, Baden, PA , in 1943. She entered Maryknoll Sisters at their Center, Maryknoll, NY  from Epiphany Parish, Pittsburgh, PA, on September  7, 1943, and was given her Religious name, Sister Marie Clementia, at her reception on March 7, 1946. Her first Profession of Vows was made at the Maryknoll Sisters Motherhouse, Maryknoll NY on March 7, 1946, and her Final Vows on March 7, 1949, also at Maryknoll, NY.

From 1945-1949, Sister Elizabeth attended Maryknoll Teachers College, Maryknoll, NY, where she earned a Bachelor of Education degree.  She was then assigned to Boston’s Chinatown where she taught English and catechetical classes until 1952. Sister Elizabeth received an assignment to the Sisters’ new mission in Mauritius where she taught in a Chinese school and did catechetical work until 1956. She was then sent to Chicago’s Chinatown, again to teach grade school until 1962.

From 1962-1964, Sister Elizabeth studied at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. where she earned a Master’s degree in Education after which she returned to Chicago as principal of St. Therese Chinese School until 1970. From 1970-1972, she was the Supervisor of  Maryknoll Sisters Vernacular Primary School at Blue Pool Road in Hong Kong, and from 1972-1975 served as supervisor of a government subsidized school in Chai Wan, Hong Kong. She was then sent to Taiwan where she taught English for one year at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei and then joined the Western Language Department of Providence College, Taichung.

Returning to Chicago’s Chinatown in 1978, she served as Religious and Pastoral Coordinator until 1982, and then in pastoral ministry among Chinese residents at St. Anne’s Parish, San Francisco, CA, until 1993.

From 1992 – 2002 she lived in Gallup, NM, serving as a part-time advisor and instructor at the Univ. of New Mexico, Gallup, working with the Little Sisters of the Poor and their home for sick and elderly residents (mostly Navajo Indians),  taught catechism at Sacred Heart Church, taught English as a Second Language, ministered to battered women and alcoholics, and worked with American couples with adopted Chinese children.

Following a year at the Maryknoll Sisters residence in Monrovia, CA, Sister Elizabeth returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center at Maryknoll, NY in 2004.

Sister Elizabeth is survived by two nephews, Donald Nguyen of San Francisco, CA, and Peter Lee of Menlo Park, CA, and a cousin Miss Isabel Lee of San Francisco, CA.

A Vesper service will be held for Sister Elizabeth on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, at 4:15 p.m.,  at Annunciation Chapel, Maryknoll Sisters Center, Ossining, NY, followed by a Memorial Mass at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, February 12, 2014. Interment will follow at Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.