The Daughters of Saint Anna: canonical visitation by the Superior General
JERUSALEM – In the month of May 2012, Sr. Anna Maria Luisa Prandina, Superior General of the Sisters, Daughters of S. Anne (DSA), was on canonical visitation to the eight communities of the province of the Holy Land and Egypt. Accompanied by the Provincial Superior, Sr. Clementina Santarsiero, she met, among others, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.
After having arrived in the Holy Land, on April 29 Mother Prandina was in Jerusalem to visit the Nuncio and Apostolic Delegate, H. E. Archbishop Antonio Franco, and Patriarch Fouad Twal. Both renewed their “special attachment to the Congregation of the Sisters, Daughters of Saint Anna, since 1925, and their valuable mission in the Holy Land”. This province of the DSA in the Middle East is called “Province of Mary, daughter of Zion”. It includes some thirty religious, and extends to three countries where the sisters carry out a very appreciated pastoral, educational, social, and charitable activity:
- In Israel, three communities: in Nazareth (rest home), in Haifa (kindergarten and pastoral activity), Sephoris (school for children in difficulty);
- In Palestine, two communities: in Jenin (parish and nursery) and Bethlehem (provincial house and formation);
- In Egypt, three communities: in Cairo (novitiate), in Shahine-Almunia (parish and female residence hall) and Deirut-Assyut (nursery, parish, clinic).
The Sisters of St. Anne had the grace to have some local vocations from the Holy Land and Egypt. The sisters from abroad learn the local languages, especially Arabic. It is this that allows them to have a strong pastoral presence, especially in Jenin. The sisters have also founded in the Holy Land the “Harakat Al-raja” (the movement of Hope), for the laity also to share the charism and spirituality of their foundress, Blessed Anna Rosa Gattorno. The movement, particularly active in Nazareth, includes some twenty lay members. It is presided over by Mrs. Anisseh Helou, assisted by Sr. A. Isabella and Sr. Samia.
Sunday, May 6, the feast of their foundress, represented the culmination of this visit. The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar for Israel, at the Church of rest home of the “Tremor” in Nazareth. Prepared by Sr. Isabelle, the Mass brought together all the nuns of Saint Anna in Israel and Palestine, the house residents, the many employees and contractors in the various works and the members of the “Movement of Hope”.
In the course of the homily, the Patriarchal Vicar thanked Mother Prandina for “the very fruitful presence of the Daughters of Saint Anne in various fields of activity of the Church in the Holy Land”.
He said he hoped, in the light of the new evangelization, the year of the faith and following the example of the Blessed Rosa Gattorno, “a new spirit of adaptation, incarnation and inculturation in our reality for an ever better service to the Church of Jesus in the land of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Saint Anne “.
With more than 1,400 religious divided in 219 community, the Daughters of St. Anne are a congregation spread in 20 countries.
From our Nazareth correspondent