Antonine Sisters History

Our Origins

1878 - 1953: The Antonine Order
The Antonine Nuns of the Antonine Order of St. Isaiah, who existed in Lebanon from the beginning of the 18th century, were at the origin of our congregation of the Antonine Sisters who became apostolic in 1940. Mother Isabelle Khoury (1878-1953) of Jezzine, Lebanon -South, who wanted to devote himself to the service of the men and women of his time, was at the base of the apostolic impulse.

1700: The Antonine Order of Saint Isaiah

The Antonine Order of St. Isaiah was founded on August 15, 1700 at Saint Isaiah Monastery on Mount Arant in Broumana, Lebanon by Bishop Gabriel Bluzene. The Constitutions and the Rule of the Antonine Monks and Antonian Nuns of the Antiochian Maronite Rite of the Order of St. Isaiah were approved by Pope Clement XII on January 17, 1740, by the brief: "Misericordiarum Pater".

1748 - 1774: Established permanently in two monasteries

After several trips between four convents that existed near the monasteries of the monks: Saints Peter and Paul-Kattine convents, Saint Anthony-Baabda, Our Lady-Bkérké, Saint Simon the Stylist-Baskinta, the Antonines are permanently established in two monasteries: Saint Elie-Ghazir in 1748 and Saint Anthony of Padua-Jezzine in 1774.

1932: The Antonine Order

On May 10, 1932, the two nuns, Mother Isabelle Khoury and Sister Myriam Aoun, at their request and with the support of the General Council of the Order Antonin, move from the monastery of Saint Anthony of Padua of Jezzine and settle in the convent of Mar Doumith in Roumieh-Metn which became the Mother House of the Antonine Sisters.

1940: Antonine Sisters

On April 10, 1940, the Antonian Nuns are authorized by the Holy See for apostolic life outside the convent.

Antonine Sisters Australia

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

Drawing from the Maronite tradition and from the Lebanese patrimony, the Antonine Sisters Mission favours interactions between the values of the Orient and the Occident in a world seeking for peace. The Sisters ministered to the Maronite and non-Maronite communities alike. Antonine Sisters mission did not hesitate to expand their wings in different fields of action such as:

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 Pharaohs were 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 connected to our mission. As consecrated women, we try to walk together in communion with the kingdom of God. Responding to the call of the Lord of the harvest, we try to collaborate in the mission entrusted to the Church by the Lord. From Antiochian spirituality, we bring the Eastern lung to the heart of the Catholic Church in the West.

- 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 comes from both the heritage of Saint Anthony, father of the desert, and the heritage of our Maronite Church. In addition, we draw on the charisma of our renovator, namely the evangelical simplicity, the family spirit and the love of the poor.

Faithful to this spirit, we strive to live our religious consecration by articulating the contemplative life and the apostolic life following our true Lord God and true man.

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

Fields of Action

Working in 42 institutions of which 32 are in Lebanon and 8 elsewhere throughout the world.

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