In 1920 Mother Mary Cleophas Foley made the decision to send six Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., on mission to China at the request of Bishop Joseph Tacconi. The Sisters of Providence were the first congregation of American women religious to send missionaries to China. Sister Marie Gratia Luking led this group of sisters to Kaifeng, China, to open an elementary school and a junior middle school for girls. The other sisters that were a part of this first band of missionaries were: Sisters Marie Patricia Shortall, Winifred Patrice O’Donavan, Eugene Marie Howard, Mary Elise Renauldt and Clare Mitchell.
The sisters arrived at Kaifeng, China, in the afternoon of Nov. 24, 1920. The sisters were in China only a few months when Sister Mary Elise died. She contracted smallpox from the patients she was treating and died April 21, 1921.
Through the years, the sisters in the United States and their students were kept informed of the mission in China by The Bugle Call. The Bugle Call was published by the Journalism Department at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. It continued as a bi-monthly publication through 1958.
Missionary crosses were given to each sister upon her departure for China. This cross was given to Sister Eugene Marie Howard.
This photo shows orphans with the dolls they received for Christmas.
This tune “Kaifeng” features music written by Sister Cecilia Clare.
The Mandarin version of the book “Mother Theodore Guerin, Saint of God: A Woman for All Time”
The compound where the sisters lived and worked.
Mother Marie Gratia Luking
First death in China
Sister Cecilia Clare Bocard (RIP) composed this musical arrangement titled, “Kaifeng.”