COMMUNITY OF CHINA
The Augustinian Missionary Sisters in China
The Order of St. Augustine, OSA of the Province of the Philippines had opened a mission in the Chinese province of Hunan in 1879.
One of the most meritorious works that required much of the missionaries' efforts in the Chinese mission was that of the children abandoned by their natural parents. Dozens and hundreds of them were abandoned and many of them died quickly.
Many of the Catholic missions operating in China had already incorporated religious sisters from different religious families to the specific work of caring for orphanages, a work which the religious sisters would do well as they could deploy their feminine sensibility and maternal care.
OSA after several attempts to invite the Augustinian Missionary Sisters to join them for this specific task, finally succeeded in 1925 and this same year a group of four Spanish Augustinian Sisters were appointed for this mission in China. They embarked in Barcelona on March 25 of that year. After several embarkation and many difficulties and inconveniences, they arrived on June 7 of the same year to the place where a beautiful mission awaited them.
The Augustinian Missionary Sisters have given their unconditional service to the people of China for 25 years, in spite of all that they have lived, gone through, suffered and some even lost their lives for the cause.
The seed they sown bore fruit. At the end of the 80's the Congregation discovered a treasure, an old woman who identified herself as an Augustinian Missionary Sister and with her some young ladies who had followed her vocation. What a joy for the family of the Augustinian Missionary Sisters when they found this treasure that came knocking at our door without our expectation. God works miracles... God makes history... This is the salvation history of the Augustinian Missionary Sisters of China.
The young women were able to receive a proper formation in their own country and later also outside of it. After many years the elderly sister passed away with peace and contentment in her heart, just like Simeon in Luke's gospel, who said after seeing Mary, Joseph and Jesus in the temple: "Lord, let your servant now die in peace" Lk 2:29.
At present, there are 4 Chinese sisters in China. They engage in pastoral work in the parish where they live and in other villages around. Their pastoral work consists in accompanying Catholics in living their faith. They visit families, the sick, they pray with them, they prepare liturgies, and they lead prayers. In a country like theirs, above all in specific places, they limit what can be done.