The congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of the Angels
(天神之后傳教女修會) is the sponsoring body of the School.
In 1913, Sr. Mary of the Sacred Heart was a very young Canadian Missionary in Canton when she 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 of 22, but not yet professed as a Sister, she returned to Swatow at the invitation of the Bishop there. After contacting a fever this 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 Sherbrook, 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 – two of those Sisters still live today, in retirement, at the Mother House.
When Sr. Mary of the Sacred Heart left Swatow in 1915 she brought with her a young girl of 17 whom she had known as a pupil in Canton. That girl became Sister Gabriel, the co-founder with Mother Sacred Heart in 1919. After long years of work in China and Canada and incidentally the opening of St. Clare’s in Hong Kong, Mother Gabriel died only two years ago in Canada. Each year new groups continued to come to China until in 1949, when expelled from China, they had 14 houses, four of them in Canton.
Training of girls for the sisterhood was their first work and they did this in several dioceses but they also have schools, hospitals and worked in leprosaria, in social work. Mother Mary Sacred Heart chose to follow the Franciscan rule again due to coincidence. Their first house was near a Franciscan 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 Sisters of Our Lady of Angels to this day.
Today they have Missions In Japan, Tahiti, South America, Africa, Macau and Hong Kong besides a recruiting centre in Canada and the United States. Everywhere they have novitiates. Macau has given six Sisters, Hong Kong from St. Clare’s School alone have come five, from Mauritius, sent by a Chinese priest, there came to Macau for novitiate two Chinese girls who then went on to Canada for orientation and on to Tahiti where today they use their French and Chinese language to work among the Chinese community there.
The Sisters of Our Lady of the Angels are strictly missionaries. Their Mother Foundress always said if God wanted the work to go on, He would send vocations. Sister Mary of the Sacred Heart the foundress is still living at 88. They have had only four Mother Generals – all four are living today, the second who was in that first group to Kweichow in 1922 is in retirement in Canada, Mother Julienne who spent years in Hong Kong is now active in Lima, Peru and the present Mother who spent twenty six years in Hong Kong – Macau.