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HISTORY

The Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross is a Swiss Congregation founded in Switzerland. The South African Province of the Congregation was founded from the General Motherhouse in Switzerland in 1883. This was the first time that a Catholic religious congregation had embarked upon missionary activity outside the confines of Europe. Therefore we celebrate, this year, and with great joy and thanksgiving our 125 years of loving service in a variety of apostolic works throughout our S. African Province.

“May Jesus live in our hearts.” (Mother Bernarda)

Fr THEODOSIUS FLORENTINI  O.F.M. Capuchin (1808-1865) was one of the most prominent and influential men  in the history of the Church in  his time. He was passionate about Christ, Education and family life.In his vision Father Theodosius saw a new society on the way, a society that was more humane and just according to the understanding of the Gospel. Notwithstanding the obstacles, attacks and failures, and convinced about his mission in the church, he was determined to take the wheel of time into his own hands.Mother Bernarda's concern was for a holistic Christian education, especially for girls of working-class families. By raising the educational level of girls the position of women in society would gradually improve and a deepening of the Christian faith would take place. People of her time should receive a clear orientation built on faith.

“The need of the time is the will of God" (Fr Theodosius)

Theodosius
bernarda

MOTHER BERNARDA HEIMGARTNER (1822-1863) was the Co-Founder of the Sisters of the Holy Cross in Menzingen/ Switzerland.

 “Be brave  and every day begin a new to love God. Leave the worry of your school in the hands of the good Lord. Do what you can, give glory to God, be humble and ask for His blessing, without which our labours will bear no fruit.” (Mother Bernarda)

Our Present General Administration is in Luzern, Switzerland and our Superior General is
Sister Alma Kohler of Parow, Cape Town.  Congratulations, Sr Alma from all in Brooklyn!

Our school was founded in 1959. It started with one class in a small room attached to the local parish church. Holy Cross Sister Philomena Burgess was the first teacher & principal. With time Father Ward’s double garage was turned into a second classroom.
Later that year a large portion of the school was built.  Mr Peter Steensma recalls the late Father Ward saying, while holding the plans for the school, “ Peter, let’s build a school.” On the 3rd of April 1960, Archbishop Owen McCann blessed the school and Holy Mass was introduced that same decade. On the 21st May 1960, a new telephone was installed and by the
18 July that same year. Sister Kostka was appointed as the Sub B teacher.
In October 1961 the first group of pupils had their First Holy Communion.
Today 3 Sisters from Ireland are still involved in the school:
Sr Francis, Sr Agatha, & Sr Eileen.

philomena