Sister Juliana Devoy, director of the Good Shepherd Centre, passed away Monday morning, sources of the Macau Catholic Diocese said.
Devoy was born in 1937 in Nebraska and grew up with six siblings. Her family used to move around the country with her father who was in the US Air Force. She became and nun and a missionary in 1963 and had been to mainland China, Hong Kong, Myanmar, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam before finally settling in Macao in 1988, according to previous media reports.
In 1990 she founded a local “shelter for women in crisis” and her concept was to “run a home rather than an institution” with the centre offering free accommodation and food to women and their children who need help, according to the Good Shepherd Centre website.
In June 2016, a government-drafted bill to prevent and combat domestic violence was finally passed, a piece of legislation Devoy had demanded for years, and she even organised a celebratory march.
In November of the same year, Devoy told the Macau Post Daily at the shelter that many domestic violence victims choose not to prosecute their husbands because they consider it an internal family problem, which they do not want to be made public, adding that the victims also worry that nobody would take care of their children and support the family. She received the Medal of Merit for Philanthropy from the government in December 2013.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macao News)