Sr. HEATH, Mary Leslie MM

* 1922 6 24 在美國 Medford, Massachussets 出生
* 1943 年
9 7 在美國入會
* 1949 年
3 7 在美國發願
* 1957 年抵港
* 1957 - 1972 年在香港服務
* 2009
10 6 日在美國紐約逝世

# 按照瑪利諾女修會提供資料為準


Life of amazing social welfare pioneer comes to an end

Sister Mary Leslie Heath died peacefully at the Maryknoll Sisters Residential Care IV, Ossining, New York, the United States of America (US), on 6 October 2009. She was 87-years-old and had been a Maryknoll sister for 54 years.

Sister Heath was born on 24 June 1922 in Medford, Massachussets, the eldest of five children. She graduated from high school in 1939 and went on to attend Regis College in Weston, receiving a bachelor of science degree in home economics in 1943. She entered Maryknoll on 7 September 1943 and was given the religious name, Sister Maria Crucis, making her first profession in 1946 at Maryknoll and her final one exactly three years later, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

She attended the Catholic University of America, where she earned a master’s degree in social work in 1948. Assigned to Hawaii, she worked as a family caseworker for the Catholic Social Service Agency. She became co-chairperson of the Case Work-Group Coordinating Committee of the Honolulu Council of Social Agencies - the first religious sister to hold a leadership position in that organisation.

In 1957, Sister Heath was assigned to Hong Kong. At the time, the territory’s social welfare and social services were unable to meet the needs of the fast growing refugee population. Church charities, with some government subvention, shouldered most of the burden, though staff was untrained and underpaid.

Sister Heath worked at the Maryknoll Social Welfare Centre on Princess Margaret Road, Kowloon and assisted in the founding of Caritas-Hong Kong.

From 1958 to 1966 she taught Social Work at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She developed a syllabus and taught in two-year pre-service training courses sponsored by Caritas-Hong Kong as well as nine-month in-service training courses offered by the Hong Kong government to its personnel in the Social Welfare, Police, Immigration, and Labour Departments. She served on the Advisory Committee to the governor on Social Work Training for Hong Kong.

From 1966 to 1971, she devoted her time almost exclusively to Caritas as professional assistant to the director. She developed the social work programme and coordinated it with the agency’s vocational training, adult education, childcare and medical programmes.

She acted as executive secretary to the First Caritas Asian Seminar and prepared proceedings for publication. She served on the executive committees of the Hong Kong Council of Social Services, the Hong Kong Catholic Welfare Conference and the Hong Kong Social Workers Association. In addition, she served on the board of directors for both Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital and the Yang Methodist Social Centre.

Sister Heath returned to the US in 1972 and left the congregation in June 1973 for 11 years. During this time, she completed a three-year programme in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the Metropolitan Institute in New York City and worked for several ecumenical agencies, including the Jewish Child Care Association, the Episcopal Holy Trinity Church Community and the Florence Crittenton League, the primary agency of Girls’ Town. She re-entered Maryknoll in October 1984 and was reassigned to Hawaii in 1986. She made her final commitment in August 1988.

In Hawaii, Sister Heath was the coordinator of Project Rachel, a post-abortion reconciliation programme sponsored by the Diocesan Respect Life Office. It reached out not only to the women, but to other family members, as well as those in the medical profession who had taken part in the decision. The protocols she developed are still in use today.

Sister Heath retired in 1991 and worked as a volunteer at Hospice Hawaii until 1993. She was assigned to the Maryknoll Centre in 1994 where she resided until 2003, when she came home to Maryknoll, due to failing health.

Sister Heath’s three brothers, who became Dominican priests, predeceased her. She is survived by her sister Leslie Costello, of Winchester, Massachussets, two nieces and two nephews. She was buried at the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on 9 October.

25 October 2009



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許 修 女 一 九 二 二 年 在 美 國 出 生 , 家 有 五 名 孩 子 , 她 是 家 中 長 女 , 三 名 弟 弟 是 道 明 會 神 父 。 她 四 三 年 加 入 瑪 利 諾 女 修 會 , 四 六 年 發 初 願 , 四 八 年 在 美 國 天 主 教 大 學 取 得 社 會 工 作 碩 士 學 位 , 四 九 年 發 終 身 願 。

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許 修 女 一 九 七 二 年 返 回 美 國 , 翌 年 六 月 離 開 修 院 接 受 三 年 制 精 神 治 療 培 訓 , 又 於 多 個 社 會 服 務 機 構 任 職 。 八 四 年 她 重 返 瑪 利 諾 女 修 會 。 許 修 女 一 九 九 一 年 退 休 , 0 三 年 入 住 瑪 利 諾 的 安 老 院 。

瑪 利 諾 女 修 會 十 月 九 日 於 紐 約 會 院 為 許 瑪 利 修 女 舉 行 殯 葬 禮 儀 , 遺 體 奉 柩 在 瑪 利 諾 女 修 會 墳 場 。
2009 年 10 月 25 日

先賢錄--香港天主教神職及男女修會會士 (1841-2010), 天主教香港教區檔案處, 2010.