Maryknoll, NY: Maryknoll Sister, Sister Paulita Hoffman, M.M. celebrated her 103rd birthday on Sunday, August 13th! Sister Paulita entered the Congregation in 1933; she has been a Maryknoll Sister for 84 years! She has spent over 50 years on mission in Taiwan serving in catechetical, social and pastoral work, and helping with the formation of Christian Communities. Sister Paulita even survived fourteen months of grave conditions under house arrest by the Communist Regime in China!
Sister Paulita was born in Cincinnati in 1914. A strong desire to minister to the Chinese was what first interested her in becoming a Maryknoll Sister. In 1938, she was assigned to mainland China. In 1950, after twelve years of service in pastoral, catechetical, and vocations work, Sister Paulita and her fellow Maryknoll Sister, Sr. Edith Rietz were placed under house arrest by the Communist regime. For fourteen months, they lived in terrible conditions of fear, malnourishment, and abuse. Their house and possessions were repeatedly searched, the women were even marched through the streets as targets for mud, stones, and shouted accusations. Yet despite the terrible acts of the mobs, Sister Paulita and her companion strove to remain silent and trusting, and in 1951, on the death of the imprisoned American Bishop, the women were released into Hong Kong.
Sister Paulita then returned to the U.S. to recover her severely strained health and began editing her memoirs (published under the title Red China Days) at the Maryknoll Sisters Center; after two years Sister Paulita was ready to return to her missionary work with renewed energetic determination. She spent the next fifty years, living and working in Taiwan, except for a two-year assignment at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.
The people of Taiwan greatly appreciated her work so much that before her return to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in 2004, she was granted her Taiwanese permanent residency.
In 2012, Sister Paulita retired at the Maryknoll Sisters Center. Today, she spends her time enjoying the company of other Maryknoll Sisters and doing arts and crafts.
To schedule an interview with Sister Paulita, please contact Chelsea Waller-Communications Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org