Born in 1939, the fifth of six children of Peter T. and Maria S.C. Shin Chau in Hong Kong, then a British colony, she was given the name Yee Kwan (single heart, earth and authority). When she was asked in school to adopt an English name, her brothers helped her select the name Janet.
Sister Janet attended Sacred Heart Canossian School Hong Kong and was baptized as a senior in high school in 1959. She entered the Canossian Daughters of Charity in 1963. Following novitiate, she was sent to Rome, where her community was based, to study theology.
As a Canossian Sister, she taught in a school for the visually impaired and served in administration in schools and in community in Hong Kong for 23 years. She then joined the Canossians in North America, first in Vancouver, Canada, then in the United States, teaching religious education in parishes. In 2002, she completed pastoral studies at Loyola University, Chicago, then in 2005 she was certified in spiritual direction at Mercy Center.
Following a time living with the Sisters of Mercy in San Francisco, Sister Janet requested a transfer of her vows to the Mercy Community. In 2005, she formally transferred her vows to the Mercy Community.
As a Sister of Mercy, she coordinated children’s faith formation at St. Agnes Parish in San Francisco and was very active in the Chinese Catholic community leading retreats, often bringing participants to Mercy Center. Even people who are bilingual find a special grace in being able to reflect on their spiritual life in their first language.
Classes at Peninsula Museum of Art helped her discover her art talent and she took delight in selling some of her very delicate and sensitive work with the proceeds going to Mercy ministries.https://www.sistersofmercy.org/donate/