Sister Anne Marie Emdin celebrated her 60th Jubilee as a Maryknoll Sister on February 12, 2017. She was born in Utica, New York. She graduated from St. Frances de Sales High School and worked one year in the Industrial Bank of Utica before entering the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation in 1957.
After working in both the Seminary and Maryknoll Sisters kitchens, it was not surprising that Sister Anne Marie Emdin received her B.S. in Dietetics from Fontbonne College, St. Louis, MO in 1967. She did her Dietetics Internship at Milwaukee General Hospital in 1968. In 1970, Sister Anne Marie Emdin was assigned to Hong Kong and studied Cantonese for two years. Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital was blessed to have Sister Anne Marie as Dietician and Purchasing Dept. Supervisor for four years, after which she changed positions to Pastoral Ministry and Public Relations in the busy Out Patient Dept. for five more years.
In 1979, Sister Anne Marie’s deep concern for the elderly began and continues to this day. In the Chinese culture, the elderly have always been treasured. However, refugee housing in crowded Hong Kong was built for the nuclear family, not the extended family, and many grandmothers found themselves in a lonely situation. So, besides her hospital work in 1979, Sister Anne Marie volunteered as a warden at the Helping Hand Temporary Shelter for the Elderly.
In 1982, Sister Anne Marie became Administrator of Caritas Ying Shui Home for the Elderly in Yuen Long, Hong Kong, a hostel designed to serve the elderly who were able to care for themselves. However, Sister Anne Marie took a drug addict whom no one else would accept and an autistic street sleeper with no known identity, whom they named “Po Chun” (Precious Pearl).
From 1988 to 1991, Sister Anne Marie’s administrative talents were used as center coordinator for our large community at Maryknoll, New York.
On her return in 1992, Sister Anne Marie moved to Macau and began, with the Pastor, Father Peter Chung, Our Lady of Fatima Elderly Center for folks who had been relocated from small-village living to high-rise apartments, which uprooted their social way of life. With a subsidy covering 70 people, the center managed to accommodate three times the number of seniors and more. Sister Anne Marie was a director of the elderly center until 2005.
Now, she is a volunteer who gives pedicure and manicure services, takes blood pressure, gives haircuts, and shares in the programs and outings. Since 90 percent of the elderly in her region are not Christian, some prayer and recreation is done with the Universal Buddhist Association.