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Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo St. Charles Borromeo

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S.C.B Overseas Mission

The Belgium Region comprises of three communities, Wez-Velvain, Peruwelz and Antoing. All are within the diocese of Tournai.
‘The Mother House’
Wez is the place of the foundation of the Congregation and where the Superior General with her Councillors resides. It is also the place where all the Sisters of the Region gather for the retreat, conferences, celebrations, ceremonies and meetings. The sisters of the community are occupied with different activities. The senior sisters by their prayers and exemplary lives support the sisters who are actively engaged in the apostolate. The diverse apostolic works of the community are:
It has had its beginning which dates back to 1716 but was closed down in 1805. In the year 1979 was re-opened and is in service till today. In the year 1988, the institution was handed over to ACIS (Association Chrétienne des Institutions Socials et de santé) which has modernised the equipment, has provided quality service through qualified staff and facilitates the continuity of the Christian Spirit and the charism of the Congregation. The Sisters who are employed in the institution offer service in various capacities and uphold the spirit of the Charism. And along with their lay colleagues maintain the Christian Spirit. They actively take part in rendering pastoral service and moral guidance to the patients in collaboration with the commissions in-charge. They render dedicated service that builds good relationship and keep alive the spiritual fervour in the inmates.
The history of this school begins from 1685 when the parish priest of that time, Fr.Adrien Bresy took into his care the necessity of giving Christian instruction to his 'little flock'.
The children of the village and those of the neighbouring villages that belonged to other municipal regions were soon enrolled in the School. St.Charles Maternal and Primary School, in the Convent premises has long been lavishing its careful teaching and inculcating in children the educational values without any barrier of class ;creed.etc.
The main objectives of the School are, to give particular attention to the poor, to pay due respect to the other, to protect the environment, to put in hard work, to be receptive, to share and to develop a spirit of service.
This was inaugurated in the year 1995, and it is a place of reception, of peace, of resource, of serenity and fraternity. The building that was raised in the year 1946 originally for the managerial School is big enough and is modified to offer lodging. It is conducive to hold meetings, gatherings, conferences, and retreats. It has a capacity of 80 beds and is provided with complete boarding facilities. It is within the Convent premises and is taken care of by 2 Sisters. For further information the contact means are:
Postal: Centre d'accueil, Foyer St.Charles,33-Rue du Chauchoir,7620-Wez-Velvain.
Tel: 06934 65 06 Email: foyerwez@yahoo.co.uk
The farm house inaugurated in the year 2001, set up in a natural, calm atmosphere, is conducive for holding small community/family gatherings, individual and small group retreats, to relax in solitude, etc. With 5 bed rooms, a large sitting room and a kitchen well equipped it offers a number of possibilities to spend the days here. It is located by the side of the Prayer House. All communications are received at the same end mentioned above.
Other than being employed in these institutions the sisters are also engaged in teaching catechism to children of the parish, visiting the sick etc .
The community of Peruwelz is one that is involved mainly in the St.Charles Secondary School which gives General Secondary course with technical and professional optional courses. Faithful to the apostolic spirit that animates the Congregation, education of children remains still the primary motivation of the community.
The multiple choices in the professional courses enable the Sisters to offer support to the misfortunate and the poor and thus keep alive the spirit of the Charism. The School has a special place for reception to be available and to listen to every individual in need. Their other fields of apostolate are: Visiting the sick; Taking Holy Communion to the disabled, Active membership in the Parish Council and Union of Religious Congregation of Tournai.
The community of Antoing was installed in 1986 in the in the house provided by the parish. The community plays a prime role in all the projects of the parishes under the Deanery of Antoing. Teaching Catechism, preparing for reception of sacraments, assisting the funeral ceremonies, animation of liturgy- choir, visiting the sick and the old, active participation in EAP (Equipe de Animation Parossiale) etc.
They give their much appreciated co-operation to the council members of the parish. Thus by their edifying life and work they endeavour to be the bearers of 'Good News' to the people around.
It was the year 1982. Our Congregation, founded in 1684 was starting to prepare itself to celebrate the third centenary of its birth. A challenging call from Lord of the missions to share the faith and Charism of the congregation and to reach out to the nations afar was felt intensely.
M. Marie Henriette Renson- the Superior General and her council were enlightened to implant the Congregation in Latin America. While they were in a search for further information and direction they were presented with the letter of Mgr. Jorge Gottau, asking for missionaries - priests and religious to work in his diocese of Añatuya that is in the Province of Santiago del Estero of Argentina.
The Lord never fails, His light is ever bright in our search.
In one of the first letters that M. Marie Henriette received from the bishop of Añatuya, it was written, “With great pleasure I accept the sisters of your Congregation whom you offer me to tend the poor and the marginalized of my diocese.” What a coincidence! The objective of the invitation of this zealous bishop and the charism of our congregation are the same.
On the 5th of May, 1984 the pioneer community comprising Srs. Elizabeth, Anacletus and Alicia, was installed in El Colorado. The chapel was blessed and dedicated to the Immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary. It is the people who had requested their Pastor for a chapel and for the presence of the religious in this place, and they had put in their sweat in erecting these two buildings. For them a great dream was getting realised. Every year on this date, this event is commemorated by them.
The Sisters soon started vigorously their pastoral activities in El Colorado and in the surrounding villages. People here were like sheep without a shepherd. Spiritual assistance and sacraments were administered only once a year by a missionary priest who was visiting this place from a far away city. Sisters found the people very receptive, there was a thirst in them to receive the Word of God, sisters felt accepted by them and were happy to be engaged in conveying the ‘Good News’ and confirming their faith.
Soon the mission extended to the other parts of the country for there was a crucial need for the presence of the Religious .The communities at Tacanitas, Campo Gallo, Rio Cuarto, San Francisco and Buenos Aires were formed successively which are directed by the Provincialate at Rio Cuarto presently.
We are engaged in different apostolates in these six communities. Pastoral care to the people in remote villages and those in our institutions, social activities to mobilise peoples’ power and finance to provide housing and water facilities, education of the youth , caring for the youth in the boarding homes,giving integral care to the old people in the home for the aged, etc.are the works that the sisters wield as instruments to bring God to His people.
In the year 1989, when Poland was liberated from the Communist regime, the Holy Father, John Paul II, made an appeal to the Superiors General of the Congregations in Europe, to keep the doors of our institutions open to have mutual exchange of spiritual sharing, in particular, the teaching of Vatican II.
On Pentecost Sunday, the 3rd of June 1990, Mother Andrea, the Superior General and her councilor Sr. Hilary, visited Poland which opened wide its door to the missionaries.Their aim though was initially to recruit vocations the idea given by Mgr.W?adys?aw Ziolk to open a house in his Arche diocese- Lodz;,became both an inspiration and invitation. to form the girls for the local and universal church. This invitation was accepted by the General council and was encouraged and supported by our sisters in Belgium. The pioneers Srs.Boniface, Irene Pinto, and Joyce Fernandes set their foot in the new mission on 26th oct.1991.
The sisters soon were engaged in pastoral work. And in order to attend to the needs of the local church, the houses were opened in various parishes. The five communities were formed into a Region on the 1st of Nov. 2003 with Andrzejów as their head quarters.
The communities at
  1. Andrzejów
  2. Dabrowa Górnicza
  3. Cz?stochowa
  4. Chojny
  5. Warsaw
Are mainly engaged in
  • Christian education of children of the age group 3 to 6
  • Teaching English in the Institute of Theology
  • Private classes for those who seek help to learn
  • Taking care of the sick and the aged
  • Working in the parishes as sacristans
  • As nurses, in the hospital
  • Working with the youth and children
  • Visiting the old, lonely and the sick people of the locality
  • Cooking and serving mid-day soup for the poor and the homeless people
  • Vocation promotion
The SCBs in Italy are presently in two Communities. One at Meina ( Novara ) and another very close to it, Crusinallo(Verbania). Both are in the Diocese of Novara situated in the Region of Piemonte in the north of Italy . Arona, the native place of our beloved and admirable Patron Saint Charles Borromeo is just 5 kilometres away from our Community of Meina.
In September 1996 the Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium Mgr.Giovanni Moretti an Italian paid a visit to us.Mother Andrea, the then Superior General received an invitation from him to begin a community in Meina , 5kms from Arona. The invitation accepted was in fact to replace the sisters who were collaborating with the administrators of, ‘Casa Di Riposa Ratti' – the home for the aged and to care for the physical, spiritual, moral and psychological needs of the inmates.The challenge for a new mission in Europe was taken up with Srs.Alex, Ephrezina and Marie Stella as pioneers.The Belgian Province gave enthusiastic co-operation for this extension in Europe. It was on the 14 th , January, 1997 the Sisters were initiated in to the official administration of the HOME after a ceremonial inauguration.
The work of pastoral care, youth animation, and supervision of the nursery school of the Parish needed devoted religious. Mgr.G.Moretti's suggestion to the parish priest of Crusinallo- Rev. Don Arturo Melloni to invite the SCBs to his parish is executed. The invitation is accepted by Mother Benedicta, the Superior General and her Councillors. 31 st May, 2004 on the day of the feast of Pentecost Srs.Ephrezina and Sr.Mary John are initiated in to this new mission.
“The Spirit blows not only where He wills but also when He wills”, is a consoling phrase found in the letter of St. Bernard to a priest who complained of his spiritual sloth. Perhaps it throws light on the event of the SCBs beginning the mission in Africa in the year 1997 and all the impossibilities that came on their way when they wanted to begin it a century before which are recorded in the history of the Congregation.
In giving heed to the Spirit who inspires and directs, the then Superior General Mother Andrea and her council with the help of Fr. Stephen Chemmalakuzhy SDB inaugurated the first mission in Africa on 31st May, 1997, at Iringa, Tanzania. The pioneers of the mission were Srs. Punithavathy Fernando, Mangala Mari and Jansi Jai. The Mission since then is growing and has now 15 Indian missionaries who form 4 different communities.
The community is engaged primarily with educating the children of the locality. The present English medium School that was started with 100 children in the pre-primary on 19th January 1999, has now about 400 children in classes pre-primary to Std. V. The School is not aided by the Government in anyway but mainly supported by Foreign funds for its extension and maintenance. This Primary School serves as a good centre to connect ourselves with the parents who receive informal education and the local church by giving special care to the christians/catholics etc.
Dar-Es Salaam
The community of SCBs located in one of the suburbs of the capital of Tanzania is placed close to the Loyola Secondary School run by the Jesuits. Both, the Sisters who work in Loyola School and the others, render pastoral service and are involved in the women's development programs organised by the Parish priest and the local church council.
This mission station that is in the remote high lands of Tanzania runs a hospital with 60 beds, the dispensary that treats the out patients, nutrition program for the malnourished children, 'mother and child care' programs and pastoral service to the parishioners scattered in several substations.
Mbeya is one of the few big towns of Tanzania where the Franciscan Sisters of Germany had established the St. Francis’ Girls Secondary School, known nationwide for its standard of education. On the departure of these dedicated Sisters from Tanzania this mission of secondary education is handed over to the SCBs by the diocese. Our community that was planted here in the year 2001 has now the members who form the managing team of the School from 2005.