Maryknoll, NY: Sister Mary Lou Teufel, missioner, educator and peace and justice activist died on September 29, 2017. She was 94 years old and a Maryknoll Sister for 63 years.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio on December 19, 1922 to Mary (Gosink) Teufel and Anthony L. Teufel, she had two brothers, Richard A. and John M. and three sisters: Rita, Clare and Catherine, all of whom have predeceased her.
Mary Lou graduated from Our Lady of Angels High School in St. Bernard, Ohio in June 1940. After graduation she attended the University of Cincinnati but transferred to the University of Minnesota in 1943 where she obtained a Certificate in Aeronautical Engineering. In 1944-1946 she attended Ohio State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1945 and from September 1945 to June 1946 a Bachelor of Science in Education. From September 1967 to August 1968 she attended the University of Illinois and obtained a Masters of Arts in Education, majoring in Mathematics. During these years her work experience was quite varied: from 1944 to 1946 she was a Flight Research Assistant at Curtiss-Wright Aircraft Corporation in Columbus, OH; from 1946 to 1948 she taught high school Mathematics and History in Lykens, OH and then was Recreation Director in the Department of Army Special Services (USO) in Japan and Korea from 1948 to 1952.
Mary Lou entered the Maryknoll Sisters’ Novitiate at Valley Park, MO from St. Clare’s Parish in Cincinnati, OH on February 2, 1954. At her Reception she received the religious name Sister Maryam and made her First Profession of Vows on September 8, 1956 at Valley Park, MO. Her Final Profession was made in Hong Kong on September 8, 1962.
Her first assignment overseas was to Maryknoll Sisters School in Hong Kong where she taught from 1957 to 1970. On November 13, 1970 she was elected to the Maryknoll Sisters Central Governing Board at Maryknoll, NY where she served until February 2, 1975. From April 1975 to April 1976 she was involved in a special assignment to Manila in the Philippines aiding in the transfer of the Administration of Maryknoll College from the Maryknoll Sisters to a Lay Foundation and administration. At this time the name of the college was changed to Miriam College. Following this she returned to Hong Kong where she worked in the Business Office of Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital from 1976 to 1982 and was a member of the Governing Board of the same hospital from 1976 to 1999. During this time she served as Associate Director of the Asia Center for the Progress of Peoples in Hong Kong from 1983 to 1999; as well as Editor of the Center’s Publication, ASIALINK. She was Maryknoll Advisor to the Alumnae Association of the Maryknoll Sisters Secondary School in Hong Kong from 1976 to 1999.
In October 1999 Sister Mary Lou was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center at Maryknoll, NY where she joined the “Chi Rho” Community and was actively involved in Prayer Ministry for the Hong Kong Macau Region. In 2010 due to need of greater health care, she joined the Maryknoll Sisters Residential Care Unit where she died accompanied by her niece, Margie Kuntz, and many of her Maryknoll Sisters.
A Vespers service will be held for Sister Mary Lou on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 4:15 p.m. at Maryknoll Sisters Center. A Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Friday, October 6, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. also at the Sisters Center.