Following the words of Jesus and the example of Saint Anthony the Great,
we, the Antonine Sisters, leave everything behind to follow God, our sole treasure.
The life that we received from God we give back to Him through service and devotion.
Like Mary, the first consecrated woman, we live joyfully to proclaim the greatness of the Lord
who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.


The Antonine Sisters: A segment of an American Legacy

A remarkable exhibit came to Cleveland, Ohio, recently, featuring the contributions of religious women to the American society. The exhibit, named Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America, opened last year at the Cincinnati museum center, then was transferred to Dallas, Texas and from there to the Smithsonian in Washington DC with an overwhelmingly positive response in all three places. This August, it will head off to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.
I thought it was noteworthy and quite exciting for this kind of exhibit to show in major cities. In a world that is often corrupted by violence and distracted by noise, here comes a silent witness with a life-giving message; A message that resonates Elijah’s experience of God who was not present in the strong wind or earthquake or fire but in the gentle and quiet breeze (1 Kings 19:11-12). Religious women are often like that unnoticed breeze that refreshes the soul thirsty for justice, for meaning and for gospel values. Like Mary, they bring God to the world, reminding people that only God gives meaning to our life and peace to our hearts.
As I was navigating through the exhibit, I was amazed by the impact religious communities had on American history. They transformed societies through service and advocacy, playing a major role in national crisis such as wars, epidemics and natural disasters. There were several displays of stories of powerful and courageous women, armed with unconditional love and untiring hope; women who gave their lives completely to God and placed their trust in his words. They faithfully served the communities they belonged to, responding to the needs of people of every cultural, religious and social background. Some were American born women, such as Elizabeth Ann Seaton, the first American-born saint, and Sister Dorothy Kazel, the Cleveland Ursuline who was murdered in El Salvadore in 1980 along with two MaryKnoll sisters and a lay missionary. Others were brave immigrants such as Mother Cabrini and Saint Angela Merici of Italy, who established religious communities here in the United States and whose influence continues to this day. Some stories are recognized only by few, others are more famous. Yet, many stories remain untold and more unfold each day. Stories of unknown religious women, sacrificing their lives for the sake of others, impacting generations of faith, helping women and men, Christians and non-Christians.
In the local section of the Cleveland exhibit, 26 orders of religious women are chronologically featured on a separate wall. These are the orders that originated in or came to Northeast Ohio in the early nineteenth century and are still active to this day. Among these 26 orders, is our Antonine Order, the only Maronite congregation featured in the exhibit, active in Ohio since 1959. Looking at that wall, I was overwhelmed by a feeling of gratitude and thanksgiving: thanksgiving to God for all his blessings, and gratitude for my Antonine congregation. I felt personally grateful to all the Antonines who quietly spent their lives serving the sick, the poor, the young and the old, in different parts of the world, and especially here in the United States. They became entwined with the history and culture of those people. They started a legacy of faith and laid strong foundations on which this generation and future generations can build. I am deeply thankful to God for my Maronite heritage, for calling me to be part of such an astonishing legacy. I am also thankful for my local community, who dynamically represented and still represents the splendor of the Maronite faith and is now part of the American history.

Submitted by Sister Celine


Trip to Niagara Falls

On Saturday May 29, 2010, our Antonine Sisters Community in North Jackson, OH went on a trip to Niagara Falls, NY. We enjoyed the sunshine and warm weather, as well as the amazing falls and beautiful scenery all around. To live the day to the full, we boarded the "Maid of the Mist" boat and inhaled the refreshing mist of the roaring falls, then went down the cave to soak in the cool water. It felt like being baptized all over again! After a long fun-filled day, we came back home happy and energized as we got a chance to rest from our work and studies.