Former prisoner of conscience has helped hundreds convert

Teresa Liu (CNS/Catherine Sheehan)

A woman who spent 20 years imprisoned in China for being a faithful Catholic has helped hundreds of Chinese migrants convert to the faith in Australia. Source: Catholic Philly.

Teresa Liu, now 86 and living in Sydney, was imprisoned in Guangzhou from 1957 to 1977 by the Chinese communist government.

She was never given a trial and spent some of her sentence in solitary confinement — at one point for a period of seven months.

Denied access to the sacraments and the Bible throughout her incarceration, Ms Liu kept her faith alive by praying secretly in her cell.

“I could say the Rosary only after I lie down in bed, secretly,” Ms Liu said. “I felt very close to God at that time because in my heart I said, ‘Jesus, now I have nothing but you. Don’t let me leave you.'”

Her crime was being a member of a Catholic lay organisation, the Legion of Mary, which was considered an “anti-revolutionary” group by the Chinese leaders.

Her other crime was remaining faithful to the Pope by refusing to join the state-run Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.

Following her release, Ms Liu emigrated to Australia in 1980 with her husband, John Bosco Liu, who had been imprisoned for 22 years.

Now a devout and active parishioner at St Michael Parish in Hurstville, in southern Sydney, Ms Liu has spent decades catechising Chinese migrants.

Parish priest Fr Janusz Bieniek said Ms Liu has guided hundreds of migrants into entering the Church by providing one-on-one faith formation in their own language — Cantonese or Mandarin

“She is very supportive of all initiatives in the parish, especially the work of evangelisation with people from China who are thinking of becoming Christian,” Fr Bieniek said.

“She gathers them, talks to them, personally keeps contact with them and encourages them.”

Ms Liu has sponsored numerous people who have been baptised into the faith and she is often asked to be godmother to their children.

Recently she was invested as a dame in the Equestrian Order of St Gregory the Great in recognition of her “outstanding commitment to faith” demonstrated “through her Christian outreach to and conversion of many people in the Archdiocese of Sydney.”


Once imprisoned, Chinese woman now guides others to the Catholic faith (Catholic Philly

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