Sister Lilla Hull


Current Ministry Location: Maryknoll Sisters Center-Maryknoll, NY

Sister Lilla was born in Glencoe, Illinois May 11th, 1920 to Loretta (Cassidy) Hull and Stanford Hull and grew up with her 2 brothers and 2 sisters in Chicago. She graduated from Siena High School in Chicago in 1938.

Sister Lilla joined the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation at their Motherhouse in NY on December 7th, 1939. She pronounced First Vows on June 30th, 1942 and Final Vows the same day in 1945. Sister Lilla asked for an assignment to the Maryknoll Sisters Cloister, which she received on October 15th, 1946. Maryknoll Sisters Foundress, Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, Foundress of the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation, described the Cloister Sisters as “a different kind of work to do.” An integral part of the Congregation, these Sisters are called to live their lives in prayer and sacrifice for the support of all missioners, especially Maryknollers, and the missionary endeavor of the universal church. Sister Lilla served as president of the Association of Contemplative Sisters in the United States. She has given retreats and reflection days for Maryknollers in Latin America and Asia as well as the States.

With others she founded the first cloister outside of Maryknoll, NY, with a prayer presence adjacent to Navajo tribal lands, near Gallup, New Mexico. Their chapel was shaped like a Navajo hogan where the Indians could come to pray, and talk. They also shared a common well which was on the Sisters property. These neighbors were compatible as the Navajo distance themselves from the city in order to live more fully in harmony with nature.

When the Contemplative Community decided together to respond to invitations to serve in both Guatemala and the Sudan, it meant leaving the Navajo. Sister Lilla spent ten years in the Contemplative Community in Lemoa, Quiche, Guatemala, in an Indian community that had suffered massacres during years of violence. Later, returning to the Cloister community at the Sisters Center in NY, Sister Lilla served as a Spiritual Directress in NY for Sisters and lay people who came to her for direction.

Due to health issues, Sister Lilla became a member of the Maryknoll Sisters Home Care unit of their nursing home. She continues to delight all whom she meets with her broad smile and warm greetings!