The memoirs of Sister Ying Mulan describe her experiences as a Chinese Christian living in a turbulent era marked by the Communist takeover, the Cultural Revolution, and many momentous political reforms. Born into a family of politically active Catholics, Ying Mulan was eventually imprisoned in Shanghai and later sent to serve in labor camps for over twenty years. While living through such difficult circumstances, Ying Mulan derived strength from her faith. At the age of 60, she became a religious sister, and twenty-five years later she decided to write her autobiography. In this book, Francis Morgan offers the first English translation of Sr. Ying’s memoirs, providing explanatory notes based on historical research and a series of extensive interviews with Sr. Ying. As she recounts the trials that she and others endured, Sr. Ying speaks with a remarkable tone of gratitude, giving thanks to God for the tests that steeled her character, tempered her pride, and increased her compassion. While her work stands out as a modern spiritual autobiography, it also deserves recognition as a political text. Sr. Ying’s memoirs offer valuable and rare insights into the realities of religious life in China, the hidden world of labor camps and prisons, and the extremes of Cultural Revolution.
Teresa Ying Mulan (b. 1933) is a labor camp survivor and nun, who worked for the Patriotic Association of the Catholic Church in China.
Francis Morgan, PhD, is an independent scholar living in China.
Chapter One: Implementation of New Politics
Chapter Two: My Way into the Labor Camp
Chapter Three: The Qinghe Farm and the Farm in Daxinzhuang
Chapter Four: My Home in Beijing
Chapter Five: The Ying Family
Chapter Six: My Middle School Years
Chapter Seven: My Shanghai Experience
Chapter Eight: By Searching for a Tomb I Found the Church
Chapter Nine: My Vocation and My Mission
Chapter Ten: The Revival of the Josephine Sisters of Beijing Diocese
Chapter Eleven: Several Major Events
Chapter Twelve: My First Journey Abroad
Chapter Thirteen: Hongkong, the Pearl of China
Chapter Fourteen: Mother Teresa Visits China
Chapter Fifteen: The Centennial Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima
Chapter Sixteen: Fu Tieshan, the Bishop of Beijing Diocese
Chapter Seventeen: The Election of Li Shan as Bishop of Beijing Diocese
Chapter Eighteen: Driving Lessons at the Age of Seventy
Chapter Nineteen: My Stories With the Police Office
Chapter Twenty: My Infatuation With the Political Consultative Conference
Chapter Twenty-one: Dreaming of a Kingdom of Heaven on Earth
This translation and annotation of Sister Ying Mulan’s autobiography offers a moving reflection on the sufferings and faithfulness of a devout Catholic serving in a difficult century. Her life testifies to the important roles that women play in church and society, and it also documents the challenges of Chinese Catholicism, revealing how believers must navigate the competing demands of patriotic nationalism and membership in the ‘official’ and universal church.
This autobiography of the Catholic sister Ying Mulan offers rare glimpses into Christian life in China from the 1950s to the present – an account of a moving spiritual journey and an important testimony of turbulent times. Francis Morgan’s English translation provides helpful annotations on the historical context and on the Chinese Catholic Church.