Sister Anna Mary Moss, MM

Born: July 28, 1903
Entered: October 15, 1928
Died: July 4, 1941

Sister Anna Mary Moss, who had spent seven years as a missioner in China, died at the Maryknoll Sisters Motherhouse early Friday morning, July 4, 1941, after a prolonged illness. Despite her brief time in the Orient, Sister Anna Mary made a lasting contribution to Catholic mission work in South China. Missioned there in 1934, she displayed exceptional aptitude in the study of Chinese and in 1937 was appointed director of the Sisters’ language school in the Kaying Vicariate. While serving in this capacity she was assigned the task of writing in the local Hakka dialect a complete course of instruction in the Catholic doctrine. Based on authoritative English sources, translated first into Cantonese and then into the dialect, the material was arranged for publication in twenty five small pamphlet size volumes.

In the Kaying Vicariate, where Sister Anna Mary had been stationed, the Maryknoll Sisters, under the direction of Bishop Francis X. Ford, MM, carry on a unique program of direct evangelization.  The Sisters live in groups of two in small convents in scattered villages, devoting their lives and entire time to visiting native women and children in their homes and instructing those who are interested in becoming Catholics.

Sister Anna Mary, formerly Miss Hildegarde Moss, was born on July 28, 1903 in Aurora, Illinois to Leonard Moss and Anna Schiltz Moss. She had eight sisters and three brothers. Three of her sisters are religious. Her early education was in Aurora but when the family moved to Los Angeles she attended Polytechnic High School and St. Joseph’s Commercial School. Prior to entering the convent she worked for three years at Bell Telephone Company in Aurora, one year in Los Angeles as a clerk for the Board of Education and then at an oil company doing clerical work for five years.

She entered Maryknoll in Los Angeles on October 15, 1928. Her first work assignment in 1928 was to the editorial department of the Field Afar magazine. Her assignments after that in 1934 were to South China specifically, Tung Shek, Tsunkow and Siaoloc when her illness in 1940 brought her back to New York.

The funeral was held in the Motherhouse chapel on Saturday, July 5th. Reverend Anthony Cotta, MM, Chaplain to the Sisters, was the celebrant of the Solemn Requiem Mass. A eulogy was delivered by Rev. James M. Drought, MM, Vicar General of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. Pallbearers were Maryknoll Brothers. Rev. John J. Considine, MM presided at the burial service in the Maryknoll cemetery where responses were sung by the Seminarians.