China  1929-1948

On November 28, 1926, Mother Maria Julienne wrote to the Superiors:  "I have had a visit from Monsignor Sylvester Espelage, Prefect  of the province of Hupeh, in China, to open a house of our sisters in his Vicariate. The question has been carefully examined and it appears that we have the certain hope that the mission will be realized in two or three years."

The Sisters of the Cincinnati Province heard and responded to the call to China.  Despite the disturbances caused by the Nationalist Communist Party and the leadership of Chiang Kai-Shek of the People’s Revolutionary Army, plans were being made in Cincinnati fpr the first sisters to open this new mission in Wuchang. Sisters Constantine of the Sacred Heart Ryan, Mary Theophane Feck, Marie St. Edward Fitzpatrick, Julie Regina McLaughlin, Hildegarde Schneider, and Mercedes Hoberg were chosen to comprise the pioneer community in 1929. 

The sisters were successful in offering a sound educational program to the students in Our Lady of Good Counsel School. But over the years with the Japanese occupation, terrible civil war, increased control by the Communist Party and fear for the lives of the sisters led Sr. Berchmans of Mary, Provincial of Ohio, to send a cable: “Leave Wachung. We prefer you to come here”.  Sadly, the sisters left China and returned to Cincinnati by the end of 1948.  The last link to the Notre Dame Mission in China  was severed on Bishop Kowalski’s return to America, following his release from prison.