A reflection on International Women's Day: the Maryknoll Sisters' legacy of love

Commentary

As I grew up, more important than wanting a different life was being able to imagine one. On International Women's Day, I want to pay tribute to the women who made that possible: the Maryknoll Sisters.

Exactly 100 years ago, the Maryknoll Sisters were founded by the big-hearted, faith-filled, cherubic and indomitable spirit of Smith College graduate Mollie Rogers. She pondered why Catholic women in the United States could not serve on foreign missions -- then did something about it. As Mother Mary Joseph, she recruited a small band of women to serve in places where few others would tread. Lucky for me, they chose to serve in China. Like my parents, they also settled in Hong Kong when the newly formed People's Republic of China terminated their ministry.