Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis – Cameroon

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The Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis in Cameroon are the African Province of a congregation of Roman Catholic Religious Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis which was founded in Brixen, Italy, which lies in the South Tyrol region of that country. Their international motherhouse is in Rome.

History[edit]

The congregation was founded by Maria Hueber on September 12, 1700. After Hueber's mother died, she looked for something meaningful in her life. Her confessor, Isidor Kirnigl, gave her strong encouragement to start a religious community. The Sisters live their lives inspired by the life of St. Francis of Assisi, and under the Rule of the Franciscan Third Order Regulars.

The Cameroon Province was established when five Sisters were sent from Italy in response to a request for help by the Mill Hill Fathers working in that country. The Sisters ranged in age from 18 to 70. They arrived in Douala on October 16, 1935, where they were met by Fr. Franz Figl, M.H.M. After resting, the missionary band set out for Shisong, traveling first by train as far as Nkongsamba, and the rest of the trip by car.

Finding that a major bridge had been washed away by torrential rains, the Sisters were given hospitality by the Catholic populace of Babessi . They continued to Shisong, finally arriving at their destination and formally establishing their mission on April 8, 1936. The Sisters were later to return to Babessi and establish a number of services for the people of that region.[1]

Today the Province numbers over 100 Sisters, who work in many fields of service, from medical care to nursing homes to social services. The Sisters formed a relationship in A.D. 2000 with three congregations of Franciscan Sisters in the United States, who had developed from one community and were looking for ways to mark their common sesquicentennial of foundation. They created what they call the "Common Venture" in which the American Sisters mentor the Africans on ways to better their spiritual and professional development.[2]

In 2008, the Province established its own mission to assist the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafia in Nigeria.[3]

Endeavors of the Province[edit]

  • Teaching
  • Medical
  • Pastoral and Social Services
  • Orphanages
  • Office Management
  • Catering

References[edit]

  1. ^ L'effort camerounais Newspaper of the National Bishops' Conference of Cameroon "Tertiary Sisters of St. Francis foretaste 75th anniversary in pilgrimage" [1]
  2. ^ National Catholic Reporter "Sharing the spirit of Francis and Clare" February 27, 2010 [2]
  3. ^ L'effort camerounais "Tertiary Sisters of St Francis, Shisong (T.S.S.F.) respond to missionary call" [3]