1702 – Italy
Among the thousands of voices, claims and virtual images offered by the media, we aim to be a sign of Gospel values, witnesses to the Risen Lord and light for those who have no hope. In a comfortable society in which new poverties are emerging on all sides, we choose to reflect the image of the Good Samaritan, to be those who live out the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. We seek to be close to children, elderly people, disabled and sick persons, and families. Most of all, we give a listening ear to young people who are searching for deeper meaning in life.
1902 – Greece *
At this distant point in history, a mission-minded Church expanded our ministry outside of Italy for the first time. Under the guidance of Mother Maddalena Martini, and at the invitation of the Conventual Franciscan Friars, a group of Sisters accompanied the Friars into Greece to provide a school for the daughters of Italian immigrants and others. It flourished!
1919 – Romania
Our Sisters opened two orphanages in Romania to care for children who lost their parents in the First World War. Having undergone the icy Communist regime for 40 years, our charism has seen a new flowering there since 1989. We are trying to provide a family and a home to orphaned children or to those who are sick with AIDS. We support them with education and food, through ‘Adoptions at a Distance,’ and stand by them as they look for a decent life. We become neighbors to families and, in particular, we care for elderly persons, so as to bring them bodily relief and spiritual consolation.
1937 – Turkey*
The mission in Greece closed, and our sisters opened a new mission in Turkey, which remained open until 1978.
1942 – Albania*
A group of Sisters worked in schools, hospitals, and taught catechism in Albania, until the government expelled them from the country three years later.
1961 – Croatia
A hospital and a rest home for the elderly are near our community in Croatia. Our Sisters bring Communion to those who cannot attend Mass. We try to give them the compassionate love they need in their loneliness. Love is stronger than anything and it is rebuilding faith and joy in the heart of a people that has passed through dark valleys. In this situation that still bears the wounds of Communist devastation, we want to bear witness to joy and peace. We are at the service of the local Church in catechesis and family visiting, especially by caring for children and adolescents, the elderly and the sick.
2006 – Moldovan Republic
We seek to be a light and a friendly presence in the midst of a people that has always borne its own painful history with dignity. While our Sisters have been present here from Romania for a few years, on October 28, 2012, a new parish church, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and staffed by the Conventual Franciscan Friars, was opened. This structure also houses rooms for pastoral activities and an apartment for the Sisters.
In Russia, our Sisters staff a soup kitchen staff a soup kitchen three times a week at the Conventual Franciscan Friars’ Friary. We serve bread with warm tea and broth, and talk with the 140 people who come to eat. Men tell us that they are devastated after being released from jail; women tell us they are living alone after their husbands have left them; young people say they grew up in orphanages and are now on their own. Many have no steady jobs. In their sufferings, our Sisters recognize Christ. We offer what we can: encouragement, comfort, or simply the willingness to listen. The occasions when they smile are very beautiful.
2011 – Germany
Sister Cristiana, Sister Clara and Sister Tatiana, all from Romania, moved to Rosenheim, Germany on October 22, 2011, in order to collaborate with Hauskrankenpflegeverein Association’s work of serving aged and sick people in their homes.