Sr. XAVIER, Mary Chanel MM
年 3 月 4 日在香港出生
Death of Sister Mary Chanel Xavier M.M.
44 years in Hong Kong
Sister Mary Chanel Xavier, a Maryknoll Sister who worked in Hong Kong for 44 years, died on 31 July 1987, aged 87, in the Maryknoll Nursing Home, Ossining, New York.
She was born Aurea Xavier in Hong Kong 4 March 1901, the daughter of Carlos Augusto and Cezaria Xavier. Her father was a leading violinist in the Hong Kong Amateur Dramatic Company for 34 years, and Sister Chanel inherited his great talent for music.
Sister Chanel completed her elementary and secondary school education at the Belilios Public School in Hong Kong. While working as a stenographer with Shell Oil Co. in Hong Kong, she read in the March 1920 issue of “The Field Afar” about a newly approved Religious Congregation, the Foreign Mission Sisters of St. Dominic. This prompted her to write to Father James A. Walsh to express her desire to serve God by joining the new order, In 1923 she joined the Maryknoll order as a postulant in Hong Kong. She went to the United States for her novitiate training in San Francisco in 1924. In 1928 she was assigned to Hawaii where she taught grade school until her return to Hong Kong in 1931. She spent the nest 44 years happily fulfilling the dream that had drawn her to Maryknoll: loving and serving God and the people of China, Hong Kong and Macau as a missionary. She taught art, religion and music and did nursing and catechetical work as well. She also taught in the local novitiate in Kongmoon, China.
During World War II, Sister Chanel as a Portuguese National was not taken to the internment camp. During the bombing of Wuchow City in September 1943, she and tow other Maryknoll Sisters along with eleven school children had a narrow escape. They were praying in chapel when they heard planes approaching. Sister Chanel moved with the children from the rear of the chapel close to the altar. A moment later a bomb crumbled that whole rear section of the chapel to dust.
Sister Chanel was much loved by her students whom she taught
in a quiet, patient manner that brought out the best in them and encouraged them
to try harder. In Hong Kong She was always happy when her students qualified for
the Royal School of Music exams. She took personal interest in each one of them
and followed their progress over the years.
28 August 1987
◆ 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.