FEBRUARY 2003: SISTER PACIS BAO
Growing Up In China
On April 8, 1921, a small baby girl was born in Shan Tung, China. Her happy parents named her Yuan Ying Bao. At that time, who could have imagined what God had in mind for her?
Yuan Ying grew up in a religious family in a remote area of China; she was the youngest child in the family of four girls and three boys. Her first contact with the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis occurred when she was a high school student. Sister M. Clementia, a pioneer of the Hospital Sisters to China, and several other sisters visited the school. These sisters talked with the students about religious life and the health care ministry of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis. Yuan Ying was impressed with the simplicity and cheerfulness of these women. She thought that perhaps after she finished her education, she would join them in their service to God and the sick.
Beginning A Life With The Sisters
At the time of Yuan Ying’s entrance to the Community in 1944, World War II was on going. The Sisters were caring for the injured soldiers at St. Joseph Hospital in Tsinanfu. Yuan Ying felt that she was accepted by the Sisters as part of the Franciscan family. While she did not yet have formal education in health care, the Sisters allowed Yuan Ying to take pain medication to the wounded soldiers who packed the hospital.
Yuan Ying had her postulancy and novitiate in China. In September 1947, novice Sister Pacis professed her religious vows of poverty, celibate chastity and obedience. However, due to the political instability in China, it became necessary for her to come the United States soon thereafter. Her religious formation continued in Springfield, Illinois. For several years, Sister studied English and worked with the sick Sisters at the Motherhouse. Later, she studied at St. John’s School of Nursing and graduated in 1963. For about five years, Sister served as a registered nurse at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois and at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Ministering To The People Of Taiwan
In 1968, the political situation changed in Formosa, now Taiwan, and the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis opened a mission there. Sister Pacis now had the opportunity to serve the poor and needy of the Chi Chin district of Kaohsiung. Sister relates that when they arrived in Taiwan, it was very dirty. Chickens and pigs were walking around; garbage was strewn about the streets. She wondered how she could work in this place, but within a week, God spoke to her in a very powerful way.
A young man came to the convent asking the Sisters to come quickly to his home. His wife had given birth to a baby several hours earlier, and the woman was now very ill. When Sister Pacis reached the home, the woman was unconscious; the doctor refused to come to the home. Sister Pacis determined that the woman was bleeding badly; she instructed the family to help her carry the woman to the ferryboat and then to the city hospital. With Sister Pacis’s direction, the medical staff at the hospital administered blood and within a few hours, the woman began to respond. Sister Pacis’s quick action saved the patient’s life, and this was reported the next day on the front page of the Kaohsiung newspaper.
Across The Globe And Back
It was at this time that Sister Pacis knew in her heart that God had sent her to this place to work as long as she was able. For the next 34 years, Sister ministered in many ways to the people of Kaohsiung.
Recently, Sister Pacis returned to the Motherhouse in Springfield where she spends several hours each day in prayer thanking God for the gift of ministering to the people of Taiwan and asking for blessings for the people she now calls "family" and misses very much!