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This became the first flag of a united South Africa on 27 April 1994, at the same time that South Africa held its first democratic elections and Nelson Mandela became president.
Holy Rosary Sisters in South Africa
Regional Leader: Sister Lorna Costa. Telephone: 00 27 11 453 8560 Mobile: 00 27 731 459 977 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Holy Rosary Sisters, PO Box 1097, Edenvale, 1610, South Africa
We, Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary in South Africa,
are women of faith and prayer, living in community on mission
in the spirit of Bishop Shanahan.
We witness to Gospel values, especially those of
acceptance of others, compassion and hospitality.
We are committed to encouraging care of the Earth
and transforming society by serving and empowering
the poor and exploited.
In 1940 the first five Holy Rosary Sisters came to South Africa. In that year Schools were opened in Edenvale and Vereeniging, both in the Diocese of Johannesburg. In due course more Sisters followed. The ministries diversified and the Sisters were involved in educational work in schools and townships, medical work in hospitals and clinics, pastoral and social work, in the Dioceses of Johannesburg, in Gauteng, Tzaneen in Limpopo, Witbank in Mpumalanga and Bethlehem in the Free State.
As the years went by, many Sisters returned to Ireland to retire and others the Lord called home and are buried in Edenvale Cemetery. As a result of decreasing numbers, our various works were taken over by other Missionary Congregations and in some cases by the laity. This is in keeping with what St. Paul said: “I did the planting, Apollos did the watering, but God made things grow . . . . . We are all fellow workers with God” (1 Cor. 3: 6, 9). And Bishop Shanahan said: “… Be ready to move off as soon as your missionary work is done. Do not dig in permanent roots – that is not your function as missionaries. . . “ (‘Lord that I may see’- Sr. Philomena Fox, Pg. 25)
Rosary Day 2015
“Go ye afar, go teach all nations… Bear witness unto me o earth in every clime...” The familiar words and music of the Missionary Hymn rang out from the combined Junior and Senior Holy Rosary School on October 7th 2015, at the Mass to celebrate the 75 years since the first Holy Rosary Sisters arrived in South Africa. The hearts of the six Holy Rosary sisters present filled with thoughts of their own sending many years ago; they have sung it many times and on many occasions, as did the 139 sisters who ministered here. This however was the first time the students sang it, and many people present were moved to tears.
After the Mass a bust of our Founder, Bishop Joseph Shanahan, was blessed, to stand in the school hall.
From left to right: Fr. J. Leathem, OMI, Sr. Ursula Day, Sr. Emmy Holzhaus, Sr. Lorna Costa and Bishop Edward Risi OMI (past pupil of the School)
The first South African Blessed Martyr.
When the Sisters worked in Tzaneen they came to know a young man, teacher and headmaster of the local school, named Benedict Dasawa. Benedict was a family man, and cared also for the children in his school and the youth of the parish by his generous involvement in catechetics and by his example. In his private and public life he took a strong stand against witchcraft because it sometimes led to the killing of innocent people. On 2nd February 1990 he was driving home when he found the road blocked by stones and logs. When he alighted to remove the blockade he was set upon and stoned to death, as he prayed “Father, receive my spirit.” Twenty-five years later on September 13th 2015 he was beatified in his home town, the first South African to be declared a blessed martyr. Many Holy Rosary Sisters who worked alongside him in Tzaneen remember him with great affection.