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Antonine Sisters History

Our Origins

1878 - 1953: The Antonine Order
The Antonine cloistered nuns of the Antonine Order existing in Lebanon at the very beginning of the 18th century are at the origin of our Antonine Sisters’ Congregation which became apostolic in 1940. Mother Isabelle Khoury (1878-1953) of Jezzine, Lebanon-South, was the source of the apostolic vital impulse for to devote herself to the service of the men and women of her time.

1700: The Antonine Order of Saint Isaiah

The Antonine Order of Saint Isaiah is founded, the 15th of August 1700, at the convent of on the Arant Mount at Broumana, by the bishop Mgr Gabriel Bluzene. The Constitutions and the rule of the Antonin Monks and the Antonine Nuns were approved by the Pope Clement XII, on the 17th of January 1740 by “Misericordiarum Pater”..

1748 - 1774: Established permanently in two monasteries

After several displacements between the convents of St Peter and St Paul-Kattine, St Anthony-Baabda, N.D.-Bkerke and St Simon-Baskinta, The Antonine Nuns are definitely established in two monastries: Saint Elias-Ghazir in 1748 et Saint Anthony-Jezzine in 1774.

1932: The Antonine Order

On May 10, 1932, Mother Isabelle Khoury and Sister Myriam Aoun, at their request and approved by the general council of the Antonine Order, left the monastery of Saint Antoine de Padoue of Jezzine to settle in the convent of Mar Doumith at Roumieh-Metn which became the Mother House of the Antonine Sisters.

1940: Antonine Sisters

The 10th of April 1940, the Antonine Nuns are authorized to begin an apostolic life out of the convent.

Antonine Sisters Australia

Four Antonine Sisters arrived in Australia in 1980 to serve the Maronite community in Melbourne. Encouraged by Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Melbourne, the Sisters contributed to the parish life: Christian initiation, liturgical life, pastoral activities, formed a choir, cared for families, visited sick and established Arabic and established a cultural Saturday School.

Drawing from the Maronite tradition and from the desire for world peace, the Antonine Sisters Missions interact between the values of the Orient (the East) and the Occident (the West). The sisters minister to the Maronite and non-Maronite communities alike. Antonine Sisters mission expanded to include different fields of action such as:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Childcare
  • Pastoral Care and Parish Life

1980 - Arrival of the Antonine Sisters in Melbourne where they established an Arabic language and cultural school.

1986 -
Establishment of the Antonine Sisters Child Care Centre

Establisment of Saint Paul’s Hostel

Establishment of the Antonine Sisters Maronite Primary School.

Establishment of the Antonine Sisters Trinity Maronite Catholic College Years 7-10 (sold in 2010)

The amalgamation of Antonine Sisters Maronite Catholic Primary School and Antonine Sisters Trinity Maronite Catholic College which resulted in the establishment of Antonine College (Foundation - Year 12).

Establishment of the Antonine College Saint Joseph Campus.

The Tau

The Tau or Cross of Saint-Anthony the Great (250-355).

This cross, originating in the key of life for the ancient Pharahos was adopted by the Early Coptic Christians of Egypt. As a Christian symbol, this cross developed a rich significance:

  • Biblical: as sign of election, salvation, confirmation;
  • Theological: as sign of death, resurrection, hope;
  • Monastic: as sign of contemplation, virgil from the monastic tradition of Saint-Anthony and his cane.

Our Mission

Who we are is intimately linked to our mission. As consecrated religious women, we want to reflect the sign of hope in the today’s world and make a substantial contribution in the Church’s mission. Of the Antiochene spirituality, we bring the Oriental breath to the heart of the Occidental Catholic Church.

- Prayer and Witness
- Hospitality and Service
- Education and Proclamation of the Word
- Oecumenical, interreligious and intercultural dialogue

Our Charism

From our origins, we have to live the contemplative dimension in our apostolic life by aspiring to measure ourselves to the call of the Gospel:

Our Patron Saint - Saint Anthony the Great
"Go, sell all that you have, give it to the poor then come and be me ". - (Matthew 19:21)

Our spirituality is from the heritage of Saint Anthony, called the father of monastic life, the patrimony of our Maronite Church. Moreover, we draw from the charisma of our innovator, Mother Isabelle Khoury, thus meaning the evangelic simplicity, family spirit and the love of the poor.

Faithful of this spirit, we strive to live our religious consecrated life with its contemplative and apostolic dimensions in the footsteps of our Lord, true God and true Man, and by witnessing his mercy and love with generosity and joy.

Saint Anthony the Great's feast day is celebrated on January 17th

Fields of Action

Our apostolic mandate includes early childhood and youth education, social health services as well as religious, cultural, pastoral and parochial activities. Our institutions, pertaining to educate, count 21 school establishments; 10 are at the secondary level. Most of these institutions are trilingual (French, English and Arabic) and educate some 15 000 students in a given school year.

Actually, we are working in 42 institutions of which 32 are in Lebanon and 8 elsewhere in the world.
We are established in different Lebanese regions and in some other countries.

  • Education and Teaching
  • Pastoral and religious activities
  • Faith Education
  • Apostolic movements for youth
  • Hostel senior citizens
  • Social and cultural service
  • Alphabatization
  • Mother House and General Direction
  • Spiritual animation and vocational promotion
  • Education and Teaching
  • Pastoral and religious activities
  • Faith Education
  • Apostolic movements for youth
  • Social and cultural service
  • Health care
  • Faith Education
  • Apostolic movements for youth
  • Social and cultural service
  • Alphabetization
  • Pilgrimage

  • Hospitality for women students
  • Pastoral and religious activities
  • Social and cultural service

Senior Citizen Centre:

  • Pastoral and religious activities
  • Faith Education
  • Apostolic movements for youth
  • Pilgrimage
  • Educational mission
  • Parochial & Pastoral Service

HOLY LAND (Jerusalem 1994)

  • Spiritual resource
  • Biblical resource
  • Pilgrimage Center
  • Pastoral work