Current Ministry Location- China
Sister Maureen Corr entered the Maryknoll Sisters from St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish in the Bronx, in 1959. In 1965, Sister Maureen was assigned to Taiwan. Her ministries were with youth, working in a hostel to create a “home away from home” for girls in the mountains to be able to study in the city. Sister Maureen visited young girls in a correctional center who were between the ages of twelve and eighteen, arrested because they were found in prostitution houses. Sister Maureen taught the young girls basic Chinese characters since they never went to school. She visited some of their families and she also animated local women to visit the girls staying with her.
Through teaching English in middle schools and universities, Sister Maureen made many contacts with young girls and boys in her classes and tried to assist them in any way she could.
In 1979 Sister Maureen returned to New York to earn her M.A. in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) in 1980. After earning her degree Sister Maureen taught English to Sisters, seminarians and priests from other countries at a one-year program at the Maryknoll Seminary during the week, and took care of her sick and aging parents on week-ends and vacation times. After her mother’s death in 1984, Sister Maureen applied for a teaching position in mainland China.
Sister Maureen went to China in 1985 and was very pleased with her teaching job in Hefei. The university wanted Sister Maureen to stay there for as long as she could. Sister Maureen stayed in Hefei three years since she wanted to learn a little more about China. Sister Maureen moved on to other universities, first in Beijing and then on to Xian.
In each of the three cities where she lived, Sister Maureen also made contacts with the local church and Catholics. In Xian, the relationship she had with the church, the bishop and the Catholics was most rewarding. She worshiped with those people for fifteen years. ”I have always liked my students in each school and I have enjoyed teaching them and getting them ready for further studies at home and possibly abroad.” In Xian, Sister Maureen said, “I have been blessed with pleasant students and cooperative colleagues.”
In June, 1995, Sister Maureen received an award from the Commission of Shaanxi (China) Government that states: “You have been selected as a model expert of culture and education in Shaanxi Province for the academic year 1994-1995. This certificate is presented to you in recognition of your outstanding achievement.” (Shaanxi Education Foreign Affairs Office Provincial).
Sister Maureen was also named Teacher of the Year four times. Sister Maureen was able to attend the International Conference on Women and also the NGO Conference held in advance in Huaiin Roo 1995. “I was so glad and felt privileged to have been with women of over 180 countries of the world, in all their colorful ethnic and cultural dresses, sharing our concerns and discussing the ways we can all help each other.”
After twenty-one years in Mainland China, Sister Maureen is presently living in Hong Kong and working at the Holy Spirit Study Centre. This research institute gathers and publishes data on the Church in China to broaden understanding of the complex and evolving conditions there. Sister Maureen’s love of the Chinese language challenges her now to translate Chinese articles into English!