Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of the Angels (MNDA) (天神之后傳教女修會)
In 1913, Sr. Mary of the Sacred Heart, a very young Canadian Missionary in Canton, decided to set up a novitiate for Chinese girls. She returned to Canada to pray and work for the idea. Two years later with a young Canadian girl, Sr. Mary of the Sacred Heart returned to Swatow at the invitation of the Bishop there. After contracting a fever, her companion died. Alone and with the war on, the Bishop advised her to return to Canada and try to found a novitiate there. With the help of the Bishop of Sherbrooke, H.E. Bishop La Rocque and the warm encouragement of the Apostolic Nuncio, Bishop Pietro di Maria, in June 1919 the first novitiate was opened. In 1922 five sisters sailed for Kwei Yang in Kweichow.
When Sr. Mary of the Sacred Heart left Swatow in 1915, she brought with her a young girl of 17 named Chan Tsi Kwan, whom she had known as a pupil in Canton. That girl later became Sister Gabriel, the co-foundress of the Congregation with Mother Mary of the Sacred Heart in 1919. Each year new groups continued to come to China until in 1949 when missions were expelled from China. They had 14 houses, four of them in Canton. After long years of work in China and Canada and incidentally the opening of St.Clare’s in Hong Kong, Mother Gabriel died in 1974 in Canada, and Sister Mary of the Sacred Heart died in 1979.
Training of girls for sisterhood was the first work of the Congregation. They did this in several dioceses but they also had schools and hospitals, worked in leprosaria and social work. Mother Mary of the Sacred Heart chose to follow the Franciscan rule due to coincidence. Their first house was near a Franciscan follower monastery, the Fathers there were her first mentors. So again she got what she wanted – to be a Franciscan with accent on poverty and humility, a badge that would distinguish the Sister of Our Lady of the Angels to this day.
Today the Congregation has Missions in Japan, Tahiti, South America, Africa, Macau and Hong Kong besides a recruiting centre in Canada and the United States. Everywhere there are novitiates.
The Sisters of Our Lady of the Angels are strictly missionaries. The Mother Foundress always said if God wanted the work to go on, He would send vocations.