WORLD: An Appreciation of Sister Marya Zaborowski

An Appreciation of Sister Marya Zaborowski: A Close Friend and Former Colleague of the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Sister Marya Zaborowski, a Maryknoll nun who dedicated her life to serving others, passed away on July 6th, 2024, at the age of 92. Sister Marya had a profound impact on the lives of many people through her work in various capacities. Her unwavering faith, intelligence, empathy, and strong work ethic serve as an inspiration to all who knew her.

Throughout her career, Sister Marya held numerous roles, with a particular focus on the healthcare sector. From 1962 to 1988, she worked at Maryknoll Hospital in Hong Kong. Following that, she served as the Congregational Health Director at Maryknoll, New York, until 1994. Sister Marya then returned to Hong Kong, where she taught human development to primary five students and conducted extracurricular English conversation classes.

In 2007, Sister Marya joined the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), a regional organization dedicated to promoting human rights across Asia. Within the AHRC, she held various positions and played a pivotal role in the editorial work. Sister Marya’s dedication to this role stemmed from her realization that the information she received daily highlighted the grave challenges faced by ordinary people in their struggle for a life of dignity throughout different parts of Asia. She once remarked, “My horizons have been expanded by this collaboration, and it brings me joy to go to work each day, as new things constantly arise.”

Sister Marya’s colleagues at the AHRC, hailing from diverse backgrounds and countries, found her to be an extraordinary source of inspiration. She exhibited a genuine interest in understanding the social, cultural, and spiritual issues faced by people across Asia, navigating through varying cultural and political landscapes. Her deep sensitivity to the suffering of individuals and unwavering commitment to justice and human rights protection left a lasting impact on all who worked alongside her.

As a colleague, Sister Marya was known for her approachability, engaging in discussions on various topics and going out of her way to assist those facing difficulties. She fostered a sense of unity and camaraderie among her colleagues at the AHRC, creating a supportive and familial work environment.

Sister Marya, an avid reader, had a deep thirst for knowledge, delving into a wide range of subjects, including contemporary political issues, cultural diversity, religious matters, and spirituality. Her work and unwavering support for individuals of different faiths will forever be cherished and remembered with gratitude.

Her profound commitment to her own faith and the moral and ethical principles it embodied was evident in everything she did. Sister Marya’s kindness, cheerfulness and genuine concern for the struggles and well-being of others left an indelible mark on those whose lives she touched.

All of Sister Marya’s colleagues at the AHRC are immensely grateful for her exemplary service and leadership. It is worth noting that even the current premises the AHRC occupies in Hong Kong were made possible through her intervention with the Maryknoll Sisters in Hong Kong. 
Sister Marya’s legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.

Document Type : Statement
Document ID : AHRC-STM-008-2024
Countries : World,
Issues : Human rights defenders,