In Germany we are officially known by the name of “Fränkische Provinz der Dominikanerinnen der Heiligen Katharina von Siena von Oakford, Natal“ ("Franconian Province of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena of Oakford, Natal") or also as „Missionsdominikanerinnen von Neustadt am Main“ (Missionary Dominican Sisters of Neustadt am Main").
We currently have two communities:
- Neustadt am Main
- Flörsheim am Main
Today, some of the sisters of our community at Neustadt are engaged in pastoral and social ministry. In the convent, we offer hospitality to:
|A small community of our Sisters lives in Flörsheim. They are engaged in social and pastoral ministry in the hospice and home for the elderly. The sisters and the friends of our former "Marienkrankenhaus" (St. Mary's Hospital) have generously supported the work of the Congregation among the poor in South Africa. Many continue to do so.|
Each sister understands her "mission" as a ministry to the people to whom God sends her and with whom we work. The time for big institutions is over. The sisters today work in small groups or individually among and with the people - mobile, adaptable, ready to be sent where the need is greatest.
In South Africa, we support AIDS patients and their families. We help disadvantaged children, street children, migrants and refugees to master everyday life. We work in prison ministry and in universities with students, pastoral care, youth work and parish work. We offer retreats and spiritual guidance and provide facilities for meetings. We engage in pastoral work in prisons, with students and where it is needed.
In South Africa we are present in:
|which is located on the edge of the Valley of the Thousand Hills, a poor, rural area. We run an AIDS hospice there, which is an after treatment facility to our former hospital Osindisweni. We do not only care here for people affected by AIDS, but also for the chronically ill and some elderly people, who no longer have relatives and come from very poor conditions. The AIDS Hospice promotes volunteer caregivers who visit the sick and poor in the Valley of the Thousand Hills and, if necessary, initiate other social assistance. The AIDS Hospice also supports a small orphanage in the area.|
|In the parishes of Verulam and Phoenix, our sisters work especially among the poor and abandoned people and, by bringing the Good News: appreciate them as people and enhance their self-esteem. We support poor families with basic food and school fees for the children. Our aim is essentially about enabling people to help themselves.|
|At the invitation of Archbishop Denis Hurley OMI, Durban, our retirement home "Villa Assumpta" was opened in Pietermaritzburg in 1952. It initially served the elderly women and men in the area. A portion of the revenue supported the missionary work in the poorer areas of the country. Priests and sisters studying at the University of Pietermaritzburg also found a home in Villa Assumpta. In 1999, "Villa Siena" was built to care for our retired sisters and other residents. Today, lay professionals lead these institutions. The local prioress, together with several sisters, cares for the spiritual well-being of the growing number of sick and elderly sisters and the residents of the two houses. Our Dominican confreres, who have a study house nearby, ensure that Holy Mass is celebrated daily in the convent chapel. 24 old missionaries currently live in Pietermaritzburg.|
From 1935 onwards, our sisters ran a guesthouse for families and welcomed religious and priests for retreats and meetings at the “St. James Catholic Mission”, Magaliesburg. The mission station also maintained a small clinic. In addition, the sisters worked in two outstations. The bishop of the diocese of Johannesburg, to which the mission-station belonged, asked the Congregation to take over a girls' boarding school for African children there. The school began in 1937 with 30 girls and two teachers, a sister and an African teacher. They received a fixed salary from the state. In 1953, almost 300 students attended the school. The school had to be closed in 1956 because of racial segregation (Group Areas Law). A smaller community lives in Magaliesburg. Our retired sisters find creative ways to help the poorest of the poor. For example, a sister supports elementary school children with learning difficulties. In a container classroom, she helps daily with homework and patiently practices with them the many difficulties of the English language. This is a basic requirement for education and training and thus for a better life. One of our African sisters holds a teaching post at this elementary school.
In June 2015, four sisters moved into a house provided by the Archdiocese of Bloemfontein, not far from the "University of the Free State". Our sisters were especially called to assist the women students in their health, ethnic, social and spiritual concerns. The university town of Bloemfontein is a health and education centre in the Free State, a poor area, known as centre for human trafficking and racism. Women are still not socially equal to men, often sexually abused and economically disadvantaged.
Today two Sisters live in the retirement home “St Vincent de Paul” near Pinner, where they receive care and human and spiritual support. The Sisters of our Congregational Leadership visit them on a regular basis. The elderly Sisters devote themselves to prayer for the concerns of the people and the Congregation.
There are currently 14 sisters living and working in the USA. Our older sisters have been lovingly received in the Nursing Home of the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose and are well looked after in every way. The Dominican Sisters of San Rafael also offer accommodation to us in their retirement home. At present one of our sisters lives there.
The focus of the current ministry of our Sisters in the US is to serve poor and needy people with a migrant background or with other social problems.
They are actively engaged in the mission of Jesus in California and Arizona in:
- San Leandro, California, in administration and pastoral work in the parish
- Florence, Arizona, at the Detention Centre cared for by the Jesuits
- Tuscon, Arizona: A sister holds the office of coordinator of the "Spanish Speaking Department" of the diocese of Tuscon. Another sister works in the "Catholic Community Services" of the diocese, which provide legal services for undocumented people. Another sister is employed at San Miguel High School in Tucson as Director of the Immersion Program "El Otro Lado" ("the other side"). This program offers young people experiences with the language and culture of immigrants and migrants on the US-Mexican border.