Swatow: Ursulines in China


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Ursuline is a Roman Catholic religious order of women founded at Brescia, Italy, in 1535, by Saint-Angela-Merici, dedicated exclusively to the education of girls. Three Ursuline sisters, one British and two French-Canadians, landed at Swatow in July 1922 to pioneer three full decades of missionary and service work. As fate would have it, nine days after their arrival, the city was struck directly by a typhoon, causing 60,000 to 100,000 deaths. Even though the roof of their house was blown off, the sisters managed to pick themselves up, encouraged by the local Teochews as they observed: "The way the Chinese have taken this disaster is truly remarkable. They don't seem to be crushed. They collect the debris from their houses and their little bamboo huts as though it were something quite ordinary".

This book written in 1996 traces the extraordinary community service of the Ursulines among the women and children the Teochew region, including the opening of a school in Swatow in the middle of Japanese wartime occupation in 1940.

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