Celebrating the life of Sister Janet Yee Kwan Chau RSM


Mass of Christian Burial: Tuesday, September 21, 10:30 am,
in the main Mercy Convent Chapel, 2300 Adeline Dr., Burlingame CA.

*For the protection of all, vaccinations and face coverings will be required. Please come prepared to show proof of vaccination.

Mass will also be live-streamed.

Zoom Link


Meeting ID: 926 9793 6092

Passcode: 361378

Dial by your location
 1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

Burial Service will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, 1500 Mission Rd., Colma, at 12:00 noon.


Sister Janet Chau died at the age of 82 on September 9, 2021 at Mercy Care Center in Oakland.

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.

She attended Sacred Heart Canossian School Hong Kong 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 America, first in Vancouver then in the US, 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 found 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.

She is survived by brothers Felix and Ronald Chau, sister Angela Kwan, nieces Evelyn, Grace, Katie, Amelia, and Jannie Chau, Winnie and Connie Chan, and Josephine and Katherine Kwan; nephews Samuel, Anthony, and Winston Chau, and Nelson Kwan, many grand nieces and nephews, and her loving community of the Sisters of Mercy.  Mass of Christian Burial will be on Tuesday, September 21, 10:30 am, in the main Mercy Convent Chapel, 2300 Adeline Dr., Burlingame CA. Mass will be livestreamed. Burial Service will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, 1500 Mission Rd., Colma, at 12:00 noon.

IMPORTANT: If you wish to attend the Mass in-person, please request a ticket on line at https//mercy-center.org. For the safety and protection of all, we ask that those attending bring proof of vaccination and wear a mask.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Sisters of Mercy, 2300 Adeline Drive, Burlingame, CA  94010.

Guest Book


Sister Janet was a beautiful member of our community. I always enjoyed the stories she would tell when she came home from St. Agnes. Then more recently I loved sitting next to her at table. She was very dear and she was truly a wise woman.

– Sister Suzanne Toolan, RSM

Sister Janet’s beautiful art will be treasured. Her delicate pencil drawings are so lovely. Praying that peace and joy greet Sister Janet. We are grateful for her life in Mercy.

– Margaret McBride

I always found Janet to be a beautifully sensitive person, so gracious and warm toward others, so welcoming and kind. There was a spirit of peace within her that reached out to you and blessed you, even in a small encounter – such a gift to our Mercy Community and to her family and those she served in ministry.

– Mary Ann Hils, RSM

Sister Janet Chau became a special friend when I arrived back in Burlingame after many years serving in South Africa. Janet was so wise especially in her understanding of human nature. We really enjoyed a joke together. It was wonderful to see how she became so adept in her pen/pencil and ink drawings and sold them to benefit Mercy Beyond Borders, and she and her work were greatly appreciated at the Peninsula Art Gallery in Burlingame.

– Sister Jean Evans

Sr. Janet Chau was a teacher and model for us who have attended her retreats at Mercy Center. Her retreats were always simple, yet moving. She allowed us the space and time to have our own encounter with God, which she said can be like leisurely having a cup of tea. The glory of God radiated through Sr. Janet – her kindness, her hospitality, her gentleness, her patience, and her love for the Chinese community. She will be dearly missed by those of us who have been touched by her. We will forever remember Sr. Janet in our hearts.

– Peter Chan

Dear Sr. Janet Chau,

Forever you will be in our hearts and our works with the Spirit. Your sweet smile, soft voice, and kind nagging got the group where we are. Thank you for bring us together in Mercy Center. Now we have a home and a rest stop. You have the foresight to prepare us the next home.

Thank you! Love, Gwojen Fung

Aunt Janet has dedicated her whole life in helping others. She humbled herself by telling me that those were small things. But those small things were with great love, and life changing gifts to all recipients.
One of Mother Teresa’s quotes, fully described Aunt Janet’s selfless service to the needy.
“Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.”
Aunt Janet has inspired me to be a better person. We all miss her, but her smile will be treasured forever in our hearts.

– Winnie Chau

Janet and I shared a love of St. Agnes Parish. We attended a fundraising dinner for the parish. Janet had donated two of her first pencil drawings for the silent action. I am the proud owner of those drawings. Janet was spiritual and talented woman, whom I am honored to have called friend.

– Lenore Greene

Dear Sister Janet,

We met at Sacred Heart Canossian College in Hong Kong when I was a student, you were one of the sisters that taught us Bible studies. Thank you, sister, I will always remember your smiling face.

– Josephine Cheung

Sister Janet Chau was my teacher. I will always remember her humorous, her smile, her kindness, her teaching and her guidance in approach of God. May she rest in peace in the love of God.

– Michael Yam