“I always considered (my students) as my inheritance, that part of God’s great family He had chosen to share with me.”
Sister Mary Lou Teufel was born in Cincinnati. An Ohio State graduate and a recipient of the University of Minnesota’s Certificate in Aeronautical Engineering, Sister Mary Lou began her post-college career as a Junior Flight Test Engineer during World War II.
After teaching high school for two years, Sister Mary Lou worked with the U.S. Army Special Services in Japan and Korea, teaching and overseeing the servicemen’s recreational clubs. When offered a promotion, however, Sister Mary Lou found herself declining almost instinctively. She knew, quite fully and simply, that God was calling her to something more, without knowing exactly what this meant.
In 1954, Sister entered Maryknoll. Sister Mary Lou’s first assignment was to Hong Kong, where she taught secondary school until 1970. Sister Mary Lou served on Maryknoll’s Central Governing Board from 1970-1975, before returning to Asia on a brief special assignment in the Philippines, working in the Maryknoll Sisters’ Administration.
In 1976, Sister Mary Lou returned to Hong Kong, where she would remain until 1998. In the intervening years Sister Mary Lou cheerfully and devotedly served at Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital and acted as advisor to the Maryknoll School Alumni Association.
The mission work nearest to her heart was at the Center for Progress of Peoples. Here Sister Mary Lou was both the Associate Director of the Justice and Peace Center and the Editor of Asialink, a newsletter.
Focusing her energies on witnessing to peace and justice in all things, Sister Mary Lou returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in 1999, where she is retired. Her prayer ministry is the Maryknoll Environmental Office and Panama.