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Sister Julia Hannigan, 99, Maryknoll Sister In Ossining

Sister Julia Hannigan
Sister Julia Hannigan Photo Credit:

OSSINING, N.Y. -- Sister Julia Hannigan, a Maryknoll missioner to China, died Saturday, Aug.  15.  She was 99 years.

Hannigan was born Sept. 30, 1915, in Brooklyn to John and Julia McCleary Hannigan. Christened Julia Regina Hannigan, Sister Julia was one of five children born to the couple.  All members of her immediate family have predeceased her.

Hannigan joined Maryknoll Sisters on Dec.  8, 1933, with a passion to minister in China, a calling she fulfilled through work in teaching and counseling.

Following her final vows on June 30, 1939, Hannigan was first sent to China, where, following a year of language study, she worked in direct evangelization in Hingning from 1941-1946 and Kaying City, from 1948-1951. Placed under house arrest in 1950, and taken with other Maryknollers including martyr Bishop Francis Xavier Ford to a Canton prison in 1951, Hannigan was deported by the Communist regime to Hong Kong. Three months later, in September 1951, she went the island of Mauritius, off the African coast, having been requested to help in the evangelization of the Hakka Chinese flocking there to escape the Communist regime.

Hannigan then did promotion work at the mother house in Ossining from 1952-55. Afterwards, she worked in South Carolina, Missouri, Hong Kong, Boston, New York City, Monrovia, Calif., and Philadelphia.

Hannigan is survived by her nieces, Mary Staab of Howard Beach, N.Y., and Julia Wachter and Ann Wagner of Glendale, N.Y.; and a nephew, John McShane of Howard Beach, N.Y.

A vespers service will be held for on Thursday, at 4:15 p.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center at Maryknoll.

A Mass of Christian Burial will follow on Friday, at 11 a.m., also at the center.  Interment will be in Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Maryknoll Sisters Center grounds.  Dorsey Funeral Home in Ossining is handling arrangements.

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