Sr. CHAN, Tsi-Kwan Mary Gabriel MNDA


Photo: St. Clare's Girls' School
Diamond Jubilee 1927-1987

* Birth in Canton (廣東), China: [25 November 1899]
* Arrival in Hong Kong: [1926]
* Death in Canada (加拿大): [2 January 1974]

Death of Mother Mary Gabriel
Co-Foundress of Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of the Angels

Mother Mary Gabriel (Chan Chi Kwan), Co-Foundress of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of the Angels, passed away suddenly on the 2 January 1974.

Born in Canton on the 25 November 1899, of a well-to-do family, she was particularly pampered by her father who gave her free access to his coffers. “While still a child I would give generously to the poor, giving, giving to all the poor children who stretched out their hands to me, even returning home for more money. The might have obtained for me the great grace of Baptism” she once said.

At 11 years old she heard of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception who ran a school at Shek Shat. She desired to know more about the Heavenly Lord to whom young girls vowed their virginity. Her family was going to France that year - and Chi Kwan remarked to her father: “Father, it would be useless for me to go to France not knowing French; if it pleases you, let me live with the Canadian Sisters of Shek Shat and learn French?” Her father consented and she went with her servant who looked after her.

But Chi Kwan did not learn French. She learnt something better. She learnt that the Lord loved her. He was her Father and Saviour who wanted to give her His own life-offering her His love. Wonderingly and humbly she accepted and was baptized as Mary on the 6 January 1913 in Canton. It was during her stay at Shek Shat that she met the Mother foundress. In 1918, after long and painful struggles with her cherished family: like Abraham “she left her country and came to the country the Lord showed her - Canada.” On the 8 September 1922, with Mother Foundress and six other companions, she pronounced her vows of fidelity to the Lord Jesus. From 1922 to 1941 she was the Assistant General of the growing Congregation.

In 1926 she came to Hong Kong to open St. Clare’s School - and the first Novitiate for Chinese in Macau, and then returned to Canada. In the absence of Mother Foundress who was in China to open new missions, the Co-foundress proved to possess a well-balanced sense of humble obedience and of leadership. In 1940, she left for the Chinese Mission of Victoria, B.C. Canada where for 15 years - tending to the needs of the Church and of her people - she visited the sick and the poor three times a week, also visiting the old at a hospital for the Good News to this one or that - deaf, blind, and o paralyzed.

She returned to the Mother House in 1955, worn out before her time. Her life of prayer intensified. Humble and hidden, serene and peaceful, she would pray her Rosary - yet up to the last moment sharing in our Community life and in the humble chores of our daily life.

On the 2 January 1974, a cerebral hemorrhage brought her devoted life to an end.
1 February 1974



天 神 母 后 傳 教 修 女 會 副 會 祖 陳 志 君 修 女 , 於 一 九 七 四 年 一 月 二 日 在 加 拿 大 總 院 患 腦 充 血 去 世 , 聖 名 瑪 利 亞 , 享 年 七 十 五 歲 。 陳 修 女 廣 州 人 , 出 身 富 貴 之 家 , 自 幼 喜 歡 幫 助 貧 童 。 十 一 歲 在 石 室 聖 母 無 原 罪 會 開 辦 的 學 校 住 宿 並 學 習 教 理 , 十 四 歲 領 受 洗 禮 。 十 九 歲 到 加 拿 大 。 四 年 後 和 創 立 天 神 母 后 會 的 會 祖 瑪 利 亞 耶 穌 聖 心 修 女 以 及 其 他 六 位 修 女 一 起 發 了 聖 願 。 自 該 年 起 , 陳 修 女 任 該 會 副 總 會 長 十 九 年 之 久 , 其 間 陳 修 女 曾 於 一 九 二 六 年 來 港 , 創 辦 了 聖 嘉 勒 學 校 , 並 在 澳 門 建 立 中 國 初 學 院 。 一 九 四 0 年 , 陳 修 女 被 派 往 維 多 利 亞 島 為 華 僑 服 務 , 不 忘 探 訪 病 人 , 安 慰 憂 苦 , 照 顧 老 弱 及 傷 殘 的 人 。 在 這 種 種 機 會 中 , 傳 播 救 主 的 福 音 , 領 導 人 群 奉 真 主 。

一 九 五 五 年 因 年 老 力 衰 回 到 總 院 , 度 祈 禱 的 生 活 , 直 到 天 主 召 叫 她 的 最 後 一 刻 。
1974年 2 月 1 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.
先賢錄--香港天主教神職及男女修會會士 (1841-2016), 天主教香港教區檔案處, 2016.