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A visit to the Maryknoll Motherhouse - A series of reflections

Countless Blessings.
 
My fourth time at the Maryknoll Sisters Motherhouse (Note: third time with students— 2013, 2015, 2018).
 
What a blessing to be able to return to the Maryknoll Sisters Motherhouse again! 
 
To be honest, I was so nervous this time before and at the beginning of the trip because I was in charge of so many things all on my own without Ms Melaine Lee’s presence as on previous visits. I told myself I just couldn’t cry during the visit as in previous years. 
 
Things seemed not to have changed much at first sight...yet there had been many small changes. 
 
A brighter chapel but with fewer sisters. 
 
Use of security cards instead of keys.
 
Better Wi-Fi in the house.
 
Older but still energetic Sisters!
 
I could never understand the magic of the Maryknoll Sisters. They got older but they walked as fast and their minds continued to be as sharp and bright as ever. The girls walked much slower even though they are five to six times younger! 
 
God knows I worried. Thus he sent a few sisters to chaperone us! Sister Norma especially flew from Los Angeles to be with our group for all 10 days. Sister Arlene and Sister Susan took care of all our big and small needs. 
 
Sister Jeanne planned our schedule and was always with us and always thinking ahead to anticipate our needs, including the all-important Lays and Doritos! Sister Esther, who is coming to Hong Kong, along with Sister Norma, Sister Shirley and Sister Dora, who drove us to the Church of the Assumption in Peekskill with Sister Jeanne for the Vigil of the Assumption of Our Lady. 
 
Going to harvesting and weeding with Sister Dora and Sister Esther were the girls’ favourite activities! On our second visit to New York City, Sister Arlene, Sister Norma, Sister Susan and Sister Esther were with us the whole day!! ALL of us were always surrounded by the sisters’ love.
 
Of course, there were challenges this time, as we were living in the Rogers Wing with the sisters. Learning to be quiet, keeping the bathroom clean (in the American way) was not easy. I must thank the whole team for their efforts! 
 
Visiting the sisters was always my favourite part of the visit to the Motherhouse. 
 
Seeing the sisters filled with joy when we sang made me feel all the hard work was worth it (including losing my voice on the third day of trip).
 
Seeing the girls’ eyes filled with tears when visiting sisters on the 4th floor, my eyes also filled with tears. Seeing Sister Corinne, trying to sing with us, at the age of 101, was incredibly touching. Words cannot express my feeling. 
 
As a girl said, the feeling is mixed but you felt love and that you were loved. 
 
It was also delightful to meet all the sisters and fathers from Hong Kong at the Chinese meal, supported by the Class of 1967. Indeed meeting Sister Maureen, Sister Agnes Chou after their return was wonderful. Of course, it was also thrilling to meet those sisters I had met before, including but not limited to Sister Betty Ann, Sister Dora, Sister Meg......Father Cioppa from St. Patrick’s parish in Hong Kong. 
 
I was also thrilled to be able to meet Father Higgins and Father Vincent again at Holy Cross Church in the Bronx. It was really a surprise after they left the Church of the Assumption. Going to the Church of the Assumption in Peekskill to celebrate the feast of the Assumption was just a tiny thought that sparkled in my mind five years ago. I must also thank the legionaries that arranged our visit to the Church of the Assumption this time. 
 
In the end, there were a number of times on the trip when I burst into tears. When I saw a sister (whom I felt connected to and who gave us a knitted scarf five years ago) having her tea, when I heard the news that a classmate had passed away, when I saw the sister next to Sister Corinne crying when she saw her singing with us, when I saw the students crying, when I bade farewell to the Sisters...
 
Things do change but love is eternal.
 
The only promise I was making when I bade farewell to Sister Jeanne was: I’ll be back!
 
 
 
Ms Winnie Fung