Sister Santa Maria Manning, MM

Born: February 2, 1894
Entered: October 15, 1927
Died: March 31, 1982

On Wednesday, March 31, 1982, at 10:15 P.M. Sister Santa Maria Manning died quietly and peacefully in Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital, Hong Kong.

Sister Santa Maria was born on February 2, 1894 and was baptized Alice Elizabeth. She was the youngest of three girls.

Sister Santa Maria graduated from Boston Teachers College in 1914. In that same year she began teaching in the Boston public schools. She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Community on October 15, 1927 and made her first profession of vows on April 30, 1930. That same year she was assigned to Hawaii. The following year she was assigned to Hong Kong, arriving there on December 22, 1931. From January, 1932 to 1937 she taught at Holy Spirit School (the present Maryknoll Sisters’ School).  World War II interrupted her teaching and she was repatriated to the U.S. in 1942. Until 1946 she served at various missions in the United States. At the end of 1946 she returned to Hong Kong and continued on the staff of Maryknoll Convent School until her death.

Sister understood people and plants. She enjoyed puttering in the garden. A seed, a twig, and even a dying plant was brought to richness by her watering and weeding and even a little plain talking. She loved people. Her profession as teacher and her vocation as missioner gave her many to love. She had a deep appreciation of books and an insatiable thirst for knowledge. After discontinuing active classroom teaching in the Primary Section of Maryknoll Convent School, she took the post of Librarian in the Secondary Section. As Librarian she was able to share with all this love of books and learning.

Sister Santa Maria loved her Maryknoll community. In her 55 years she saw many changes in religious life. She brought to these an openness of heart and mind, a steadfast faith and total commitment.

These life-giving qualities made her a dauntless person and a healer.

The Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated at St. Teresa’s Church, Kowloon, with Father Vincent Corbelli, M.M., as main celebrant. The church was filled with friends, former students, colleagues. Burial was at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley.