Sister Janet Carroll, M.M.
Current Ministry Location-Maryknoll Sisters Center
Sister Janet, from New York City, entered Maryknoll in 1952. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University in 1968. Sister Janet went to Taiwan in 1956, where she served in pastoral and social ministries.
Sister Janet was the director of research and planning for Maryknoll in the 1970s. During this time, she initiated Maryknoll’s involvement with the United Nations, serving as NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) officer for the Congregation. Sister Janet served on the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations from 1979 to 1987, representing the Vatican in the Social and Humanitarian Affairs Committee of the General Assembly. She was also an advisor to the People’s Republic of China and the ASEAN states (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). She was awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice award, a papal honor, for this service.
Sister Janet was executive director of the United States Catholic China Bureau (USCCB) from its founding in 1989 until 2003. She was responsible for a program of education and outreach among the Catholic churches in North America and China. She edited the China Church Quarterly and coordinated the annual National Catholic China Conference. Sister Janet’s knowledge of Chinese culture and language was critical when she led 11 religious study tours to China.
Sister Janet turned over leadership of the China Bureau to a Jesuit in 2004, and was then named a Scholar-in-Residence at the Overseas Ministry Study Center, a program affiliated with Yale University. Sister Janet earned a Master’s degree in international affairs while there.
Sister Janet was a senior associate of the USCCB through 2009. In this role, she did research, wrote, gave lectures and seminars, and provided media contacts and outreach services in China. In 2009, the USCCB’s board of directors created the position of USCCB Scholar and bestowed the title on Sister Janet. Relieved of the administrative and programmatic responsibilities initiated since the Bureau’s founding, she continues to research and write about developments in U.S.-China churches as partners in mission to the Chinese people.
Sister Janet has also been on the board of directors of the American Society of Missiology, where she served as president for one year. She has also been on the advisory committee for Orbis Books.
Today, Sister Janet lives at Maryknoll, NY, where she serves as an advisor and mentor with Maryknoll’s Chinese Seminary Teachers and Formators Project, a program launched to help train priests and women religious for leadership roles in the church in China.