As a missioner with Hong Kong experience, Sister Barbara Ann Walenty took extra time in teaching English to new immigrants in Chinatown, Chicago, so they could talk about cultural shock.
A native of Detroit, MI, Sister Barbara Ann Walenty earned her R.N. degree at Providence Hospital. She worked as a nurse in Detroit Memorial Hospital and Highland Park General Hospital before joining the Maryknoll Sisters in 1956.
After her first profession of vows she worked as a nurse at the Maryknoll Sisters Interracial Queen of the World Hospital, in Kansas City, MO, before the passage of the Civil Rights Act.
Assigned to Hong Kong in 1963 Sister Barbara studied Cantonese. She worked as Operating Room Supervisor in Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital; was a clinical instructor in the Student Nurse program, and established and supervised the Student Nurses Hostel.
She joined the Eastern U.S. Region in 1974 and her Hong Kong background served her well in Boston Chinatown as Chinatown Clinic nurse, in Tufts Medical Center and as an ESL teacher. In NY Chinatown she nursed in the Cabrini Hospital Nursing Home. These experiences took Sister Barbara in 1979 to St. Therese Chinese Mission School in Chicago, Illinois where she was school nurse, teacher’s aid, and library manager. She also taught Special Alcohol and Drug Education (ADE), and volunteered with the Chinese American Service League, teaching Vietnamese-Chinese people. In addition to her service with Chicago’s Chinatown section, Sister Barbara also served as a part-time CCD teacher-aide and a pastoral care worker at Fraser Housing.
She is now assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York, where she ispart of our Chi Rho community.