Sister Louise Elling, M.M.
Current Ministry Location-Taiwan
Sister Louise Elling from New York City entered Maryknoll in 1960. In 1968 after A.A. studies in Mary Rogers College and a B.A. in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State College in New Haven, Sister Louise was assigned to Taiwan; where she did her language studies and made her final vows in May 1969.
Shortly after Sister Louise started her mission in Changhua, a Taiwanese Social Worker Miss Sylvia Chu, asked Sister Louise to work with her for the physically challenged. Miss Chu told Sister Louise that she saw many physically challenged people come and go in the hospital, only to return home so discouraged because they did not know how to handle their problems.
After both of them prayed about it for a week they started the Bo Ai (Boundless Love) Training Center, a non-sectarian, non-profit, vocational rehabilitation facility for physically challenged adults between the ages of 14 and 40.
Sister Louise also became involved in liturgy and music in the parish, visiting the sick in the hospitals and in promoting ecumenical evangelization as her work with the disabled brought her into contact with other Christians, fervent Buddhists and other non-Christians.
In 1996 Sister Louise was assigned to the Western U.S. Region where she worked in various parishes in California as Director of Religious Education, coordinator of youth and mission outreach programs and as a Pastoral Assistant.
In 2008 Sister Louise was re-assigned to Taiwan. The Sisters welcomed Sister Louise back with great joy after an absence of about 17 years. She writes in her reflections, “Taiwan – my home away from home! That’s how the Sisters and people of Taiwan have made me feel ever since my arrival on Nov. 30, the first day of Advent – new beginnings on so many levels. What a great time to start all over again in this beautiful land! The daily adventure of communicating in Taiwanese keeps things lively. It is fun to remember words not spoken in years and funny when almost the right word comes out, but not quite. Everyone has a good laugh as I try again. Everywhere I go I hear the familiar words, Chiok Lin Peng An! May you be blessed with peace.”
Presently Sister Louise shares prayer and scripture with teachers of physically and mentally challenged children. Sister Louise also has a ministry to physically challenged adults. She visits Taiwanese speaking Catholics at a nearby hospital.