The Labor Camp Memoirs of Sr. Ying Mulan

Teresa Ying Mulan - Edited By Francis Morgan - Translated By Francis Morgan

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.



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.

— Tobias Bradner, associate professor, Divinity School of Chung Chi College, Chinese University of Hong Kong


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.


— Barbara Hoster, PhD, Monumenta Serica Institute, Sankt Augustin, Germany