CRS president and CEO, Carolyn Woo, was recently in Atlanta and talked with The Georgia Bulletin about “her faith life growing up, why foreign aid is important and how folks can help the mission of Catholic Relief Services.”
What is a memory of your faith life you treasure from growing up?
I was born and raised in Hong Kong. My parents were Chinese from mainland China. My father was a baptized Catholic who never practiced. After the children came along, I was fifth of six, he did two things: He made sure we were all baptized as infants. And the second one was that he made sure we would go to church on Sunday, but he never went with us. My faith life was not developed at home, but it was developed at school. I was educated by missionary sisters. They were Maryknoll sisters, and they were just incredible. And there is not a week that goes by now when I am not exchanging emails either with a Maryknoll sister, or one of my Maryknoll classmates.
My faith life really developed around the ages of 15 to 18. By then, we knew the Maryknoll sisters so well, there was just a sense that God must be real because otherwise what they chose to do would be pretty bizarre. All of them left home, they left the U.S., and they would go out to the world where there would be difficulties, dangers. They just left a life behind to serve people they don’t know. I got a sense of how real God is to these sisters and therefore how real God is from the nuns. They clearly taught very well, but they also had a sense of joy, a sense of can-do, and true love for the people.
Read the rest of the interview here.