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St. Franciscan Sisters Sarawak

St. Franciscan Sisters Sarawak

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As Franciscan Sisters, our first apostolate is the witness of our consecration life to the holiness of the Church. Bearing in mind the words of Christ  "You are the salt of the earth; ...you are the light of the world." Mt5:13-16. We try to propagate more by example than by words the good news of Christ love.  We hope by our presence we may draw men to think of God and of spiritual and heavenly values.

Our congregation shall undertake these apostolate.
  •   Education - Nursery, Kindergarten, Primary, Secondary, Formal,  Non formal and Informal Education.
  •   Catechetical/Faith  formation (counseling) - Religious instruction, Sunday School and other forms of faith formation.
  •   Medical and Welfare Services - Health Care, Care of the sick, the Age, nursing homes, care of the socially deprived.
  •   Pastoral Activities -  Involvements in varies Parish community activities and movements. Taking care of girls in the shelter homes.

     
Francis with the Leper
Francis encountered the human person of "The leper" by looking beyond the external appearance and woundedness of the leper and so encountered Christ in the poor and the marginalized. The congregation, therefore, reaffirms its vision and mission to work preferably among the poor, the youth and the needy in our society.

Prayer Life The Sisters must dedicate a good portion of their time everyday to both personal and community prayer. The Personal prayer of the members of the church is offered to the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit, and as such is always necessary and to be commended. Community prayer has a special dignity since Christ himself said, " Where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them"  Mt :18:20. On the Liturgy of the Hours, the Divine Office, like Christ, the Sisters consider prayer their first duty.
 The Eucharist or Mass is the highest of ally prayers, for both the universal and the local church and for each person, it is the centre of the whole Christian life. The Mass reaches the high point of the action by which God in Christ sanctifies the world and the high point of men's worship of the Father, as they adore him through Christ  his son.

Religious Life
Sister Inigo said before Vatican Council II, " Regularity was the hallmark of religious life". Today, religious life is radical; we have new roads to walk, new way of living the religious life. Life is more flexible, and there are new ministries to meet new challenges. God is interested in mission, in calling and sending. Mission is to heal, to forgive, to spread news of love. 
      Isaiah:6:8 -  And, I heard the voice of the Lord saying, " Whom shall I send and who will go for me?"
                 Then I said " Here am I, send me"

What We do


Miri ( St Francis Xavior Convent)
Home for the Age.Human Life Services.


Bintulu (St Agnes Convent)
Taking care of the church
Catechist and sacristy.



Marudi ( St Bernadette Convent)
Boarding School Matron
Taking care of the church and convent.




Our Mission
  Living in simplicity and humility after the example of St Francis of Assisi, and commit ourselves to a life of personal conversion, religious consecration and joyful service to the poor, the youth and the needy, as we witness to Christ in response to the signs of the times and with respect for other people's faith.

Community Vision
A community of mature and prayerful consecrated women, living joyfully and lovingly supporting one another in the different apostolic works for the glory of God.
Community Mission
 A Community of consecrated women, following the example of St Francis of Assisi, commit ourselves to communion with God through prayer, a continuous conversion and formation of self and others, and a life of simplicity, humility, charity and solidarity as we share generously and responsibly our time, talents and resources with one another and others, especially the poor, youth, and the needy.

Brief History
 
Below is a brief history from Kuching to Miri.
1879
Sarawak, North Borneo and Brunei was entrusted to the Mill Hill Missionary Society based in England

1885 Jul 05
The first arrival of five St Joseph Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to Sarawak

1928 Jan 10
The first authorization for an establishment of a institution of a Sisterhood in Sarawak for the Chinese and other races under the rule of the Third Order of St Francis of Assisi. Fr A. Hopfgartner was then asked by Msgr Edmund Dunn to compose a book of rules for the Sisters . About six months later on 26 July after obtaining the approval by the Sacred Congregation for Religious, Msgr Edmund Dunn, the Prefecture Apostolic of Sarawak, formally issued the decree for the erection of the Little Sisters of St. Francis of Sarawak. Six months later on 03 December the Little Sisters of St Francis of Sarawak was officially established


1941-1945
The Japanese occupations in Sarawak, all the activities of the Franciscan Sisters were brought to an end.
The Sisters were scattered all over in all directions, some took refuge among the locals and natives.

1946 Jan
After the war, in January 1946, all the local Sisters were again asked to a retreat in Kuching and to pronounce their final vows. From then on, The Little Sisters expanded to other parts of Sarawak. Their duties now to include caring for the sick and aged, inpatient and outpatient in Nursing Homes.

1957 May 21
Mother Rita Smith, Fr Harry Van Erp MHM, Fr Francis Hulsbosch MHM and Mother Margaret Sim made the first official visit to Long San with the intention of setting up a community there.

1958 Jan18
Mother Margaret Sim together with four other sisters arrived and settled in Long San.
Their duties were mainly involved in medical, social, catechetical and education apostolates. Mother Margaret and another Sister Winifred were then trained midwives and they worked in the Mission Hospital which catered for the Kenyahs, Kayans and other indigenous races in the interior of the Baram.

1964 Apr
St Bernadette's Convent was officially opened by Bishop Anthony Galvin. Mother Magdalen Liew together with four other sisters were stationed there. Mother Magdalen and Sister Beatrice were involved in teaching, catechetical and pastoral work while two other sisters, Sister Bridget and Sister Paula looked after the convent, boarders, sacristy and other essential services.

1968 Jan 04
Further expansion led to the opening of St Francis Xavier's Conventin Miri by Bishop Anthony Galvin.

1993 May03
During the Major Superiors meeting in Rome Mother Theresa signed inSister Flora note book "keep the joy of loving Jesus in your hearts and share this joy with all you meet especially your community."

Since then, with the gradual take over by the government of schools and clinics formerly run by the Sisters, the Sisters were now free to enter into new fields of work.

1998 Dec03
His Holiness John Paul II paternally impacts a special Apostolic Blessing to The Sisters of St Francis of Sarawak, on the occasion of their 70th Anniversary of their foundation, as a pledge of continued Divine Protection.

Please come to visit us or write to us at
The Sister in Charge
St. Francis Xavier's Convent
No29, Lot 835, Lorong 6
Jee Foh Road,
98008 Miri
Malaysia



Compiled by Ben Chang






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From the Bishop's Desk

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