10“The Missionary Sisters of the Assumption” The Assumption Sisters were the first religious Sisters in Africa south of the EquatorPioneer Sisters of South AfricaMany, even priests, thought they should not be here as the time was not ripe for women religious in SAMisunderstandings, changes due to circumstances & difficulties in communication obliged Notre Mere to break from the founding congregation & so began:“The Missionary Sistersof the Assumption”
12Two novices came from France with Mother Gertrude.They made their vows as sisters on 21 December 1849 only 6 days after arriving in Grahamstown
13Two Schools were started on 15 January 1850 the first convent schools in SA.Fee paying children in“Uncle Tom’s Cabin”A free school in a stable
14The Life of the Sisters in the early years was very different from their experiences of convent life in Europe. They had to cope with many difficulties.Everything was “new”They did not have a proper/private dwellingThey were short of staff & moneyWar broke out on Christmas day 1850
15At night the Sisters together with the orphans & many from the town slept in the cellar of St Patrick’s Church
16The Sisters were involved in many charitable works: Attended the sickCared for orphansBuried the deadRan a lottery for funds for a hospitalOrganised a library for the soldiersGave religious instructionsSang in the Church choirSacristansHelped other religious who came to SA
18To raise much needed cash the skilful Sisters did needlework for the local community The Sisters started a fruit & vegetable garden to provide for the children & themselves.They grew flowers for Church.There were difficulties due todifferent climate.
19During the first 9 years in SA Notre Mere experienced many difficulties & hardships 1854 death of Bishop Devereux who was a friend and supporterDifficulties with the local priestA maid, Jane, ‘was out of her mind’Frontier warsShortage of personnel & fundsStables used for free school washed away
20In August 1858 I was struck down with a severe attack of pleurisy & given up by the doctors. On receiving the sacraments I was restored to health.It was during this illness that I saw Our Lady I thought I was drowning, felt the rush of waters in my ears & heard the waves dashing over me, when I perceived her on a boat, with the child on one arm & the other stretched out to save me.From that moment, I felt sure I would get better, though the doctors had given up hope.Notre Mere’s Memoirs
21As a recovery programme the Doctor recommended the Notre Mere take a rest on a farm &go horse riding for recreation .She followed his instructions!
22Mother Gertrude was given the name “Notre Mere” during the 1850 war - & it remained with her.Some aspects of her life:
23She had a very special devotion to the Blessed SacramentThis has remained part of our Assumption Tradition as can be seen in the chapels of our convents
27Selected sayings of Notre Mere Show God your love for him by your zeal & by charitywithout limit.Give yourself unreservedly to God;become a docile instrument in his hands.Follow the voice of your conscience.Integrity, justice & honesty are stronger than sentimenteven though they can cost much pain.Be large minded as well as large hearted.Don’t strain at gnats;practise true charity & common sensenot like people who are pigeon hearted.
28“I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” John 10:10“The glory of God is the personFully Alive”St IreaneausNotre MereFully Alive!
29Sr Gertrude leaves for South Africa in August 1849 ParisReligious of Assumption founded in 1839 byMere Marie Eugenie.Sr Gertrude leaves for South Africa in August 1849Over the years Sisters are sent to work in African countries: Egypt, Malawi, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe.1932: Sisters sent to Ballynahinch in Northern Ireland.Many Irish women joined MSAFirst Sisters arrive in Port Elizabeth South Africa on 3 December Arrive in Grahamstown 15 December Became a separate congregation.1958: 4 sisters sent to USA to start a school; withdrawn in 1964.
31MSA apostolate in Africa Currently in:South AfricaWorked in:EgyptMalawiNigeriaZambiaZimbabweSisters in formation from:CongoKenyaNigeria
32often we not directly involved & our aim is to enable others Our mission is inEducationHealth careFaith formationoften we not directly involved& our aim is to enable others
33as the crest of her sisters MSA CrestNotre Mere chose the symbol of the anchor & the motto, Adveniat Regnum Tuumas the crest of her sisters
34MSA Emblem Shaped as the seal used by our early sisters. Southern Cross is a reminder of our origins in the southern hemisphere.The CrossThe anchor is our oldest sign.It originates from our beginningsin the Cape of Good Hope.It is a sign of hope & of being “anchored” in the steadfast love of God.
35Charism & Heritage Statement The Missionary Sisters of the Assumption grew from the seven sisters, sent to South Africa by the Religious of the Assumption in 1849.The first religious women in South Africa, came at the request of Bishop Devereux of Grahamstown.His vision was that they would assist inFaith formation,EducationHealth care
36In January 1850, they established two schools: one fee-paying (to provide for their support) &the other freeFrom this small beginning schools were laterestablished in other parts of South Africa,Africa & Ireland.Among these are:Maryvale College, JohannesburgAssumption Convent Malvern, GermistonAssumption Convent Primary School, PN
38Maryvale College grew out of the first Assumption School to be established in Johannesburg.The parish priest, Fr Philip Erasme OMI, whohad been educated by the Jesuits in Graham-stown, drove personally to Grahamstown to askthe Assumption Sisters to start a girls school.They did so in 1939Fr Philip Erasme founded St Paul’s Parochial Primary School forboys in 1943.In 1990 the two schools merged to become Maryvale College:A vibrant, co-educational, Catholic School which offers quality education in the South African context.
39The crest of the College combines elements of the two schools and speaks clearly of its spirit.Maryvale College is a small dynamic school thatoffers quality Catholic education to learnersfrom a range of backgrounds.We aim to educate so that our learners are notcontent to be consumers but to make ameaningful contribution to their world.
40Prayer at the heart of all we do We integrateAcademic excellence Gr % passesService (Interact, peer counselling, community service group)A healthy all-round human development (sport, drama, choir, debating) & the services of a school counsellorPrayer at the heart of all we do
41happy, caring, spiritual environment where young people can Maryvale College is ahappy, caring, spiritual environmentwhere young people cangrow into responsible members & leaders of societywho make a difference in their communities
42The Sword The Anchor The Cross The two-edged sword of the Word of God guides staff & learners. Prayer at the heart of the school community. St Paul was put to death by the swordThe AnchorGod’s faithfulness & steadfastness in our lives & our striving to be true to God, to ourselves & to one another.TheCrossChrist’s gift of himself & our response in love.We form all learners in love of Christ.We follow the RE programme & worship together.
43adopted as a principle of behaviour Motto is a phraseadopted as a principle of behaviour