Belgian missionary sister dies at 106

 A Belgian missionary sister who spent many years of her life caring for Chinese refugees in Mongolia and in Hong Kong has died in her home country at the age of 106. According to Hong Kong diocesan bulletin Kong Ko Bao Sister Marie Williemsen, a member of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, died on 6 September. Sister Marie was sent in 1923 on mission to Mongolia where she remained for over 20 years caring for the poor people and sharing the message of Christ's love for all men and women. When Sr Marie Williemsen was expelled from China in 1949 her superiors sent her to the Philippines. In 1954 she was moved to Hong Kong to assist refugees from China and teaching English and catechism. In 1980, she returned to Belgium because of her age but her mission and the people of China remained in her heart. And she remained in the heart of those people. The male and female branches of the Scheut Missionaries CICM in Hong Kong gathered for a special Requiem Mass to thank God for the life and service of Sister Marie, pioneer of mission in China. When asked about her years as a missionary in China she used to say quite simply: "The Lord is my Shepherd, I lacked nothing. It is true material at the mission in China was scarce but I was always happy there". During the last years of her life Sr Marie Williemsen was assisted by her niece, Sister Julia Matthyssen a member of the same community and other Sisters. Sister Marie has been recorded as the longest lived citizen of Leuven. Source: Fides

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