“Mission must not isolate itself from the world it seeks to bring to true liberation, peace and justice. Mission is not a spirituality; it is a life; it is not an ideology, it is a movement of the Spirit of God.”
Sister Betty Ann Maheu was born in Beauceville, Quebec and grew up in Maine. A graduate of Emmanuel College, she entered Maryknoll in 1949 and, two and a half years later, received her first missionary assignment: teaching high school on the island of Maui, in Hawaii. Over the next eighteen years, she continued her work, now in Oahu, by serving both as a Supervisor of Maryknoll Schools in Hawaii and the Marshall Islands and as an Administrative Assistant to the Diocese of Honolulu.
Sr. Betty Ann served on the Maryknoll Sisters governing board for the next eight years, following which she spent six years in Rome with the International Union of Superiors General. During this time she lived out her mission in diverse ways, including coordinating publications for the Major Superiors of the world, and ministering to Ethiopian refugees during their sojourn in Rome.
In 1990, after gaining experience teaching in Xiamen, China, Sister Betty Ann was assigned to the Maryknoll mission in Hong Kong. At this time, the political and ecclesial environment was such that many outsiders remained ignorant of the true state of the Church in China. Since then, however, Sister Betty Ann has worked tirelessly to make known the situation, always in the light of justice and Christian understanding. While in Hong Kong she conducted first-hand research on the Catholic Church in China, incorporating this work as editor of the bilingual journal Tripod. Sister Betty Ann lived and worked in China for more than sixteen years, working to aid the poor and marginalized and actively promoting goals from Church unity to gender equality.
She is currently living at the Maryknoll Center, where she recently documented the missionary story of the Maryknoll Sisters in Hong Kong, Macau, and mainland China in recent history with her book, Maryknoll Sisters in Hong Kong, Macau, China: 1968-2007. She also is on staff in the congregation’s Secretariat Office, where she works with the primary files of each Maryknoll Sister.