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.


Walking to end Alzheimer's disease!

The Antonine Sisters Adult Day Care formed a team to join the 2010 Memory Walk in Youngstown-Canfield, OH. The walk was part of a campaign that raises awareness of the disease and raises funds to support Alzheimers' research in search for a cure. Over 300 people gathered at the Community Center at the Boardman Park on Saturday morning and walked one mile in honor and in memory of individuals and families who are affected by the disease. The Antonine Sisters and the team's captain (Sister Celine Nohra) would like to thank all the individuals who supported the Day Care's team. Together we were able to raise $285.00 for this great cause!


I want people to understand: God is Worth it!

The Catholic Exponent featured our Sister Celine Nohra  in their recent issue on Church Vocations. The article was composed by Elaine Polomsky Soos, Managing Editor for the Catholic Exponent, the Catholic Newsletter for the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio. The article below is reprinted with permission from the Catholic Exponent.:
Sister Celine Nohra does not remember asking, at the age of 9, if her mother would be sad if she became a nun one day - but her mother does. Sister Celine's first recollection of any move on her part in the direction of religious life was her attendance at the age 14 or 15, at a gathering for young women at the convent of the sisters who ran the high school she attended in her home city of Beirut, Lebanon. The overnight experience was for girls who might have a religious vocation, but Celine's decision to attend with several of her friends was based purely on exploration, not on any particular "calling", the nun was quick to point out. "I thought I might as well try out the experience" said Sister Celine, now a professed member of the Antonine Sisters (Maronite Rite), who live and work on grounds of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon and the Antonine Sisters Adult Day Care Center, in North Jackson.
"As a teen I had been drawn to prayer," she explained her reasoning. "I especially liked to go into our [parish] church when it was empty and pray. I also felt very close to Jesus. He was really like my best friend... "
Though young Celine had no concrete plans for her future at that age, she and her sister, Brigitte, two years younger, did always assume they would marry brothers, live next door to each other, watch their children play and grow up together, and continue throughout their lives the close relationship the two had always shared. But Celine's five days at  the convent touched her deeply enough to alter that picture. The teen who had always found in prayer "a sense of comfort and peace I could not find anywhere else" now became aware of a desire in her to "give Jesus my life" ...
Celine and several other girls with similar aspirations were invited by the nuns to reside at the convent while continuing in their high school classes. ... Celine's interest in living with the sisters resulted in her mother's eventually telling her that she herself had wanted to become a nun when she was young but her mother had been opposed to her doing so. For years, Celine's mother had been praying that one of her own daughters would one day choose a vocation to religious life. "But my mom never mentionned this before," not wanting to pressure any of her children into a life that might not be right for them, Sister Celine said. Though her mother had hoped that, if Celine's call were authentic, she would not enter the convent until after college, her father believed that Celine had already found her life's direction. They both agreed to let their daughter explore this possibility.
Because she was following a path that felt right to her, her new life was exciting and the sacrifices didn't seem very great, Sister Celine related. "But we forget that [any of ] our parents make a big sacrifice, letting go of us." Celine officially entered the Antonine community after her high school graduation in 1996 and took her temporary vows two years later. Then in 2000, her superior told her ... she would be traveling overseas to live and work in the Antonine Community in North Jackson ( the only community of Antonine Sisters in the United States)... in 2003, on a retreat and visit back to Lebanon, Sister Celine took her permanent vows, then returned to the Ohio community that had become her home three years earlier.
Today, sister Celine, 31, a registered nurse with a master's in nursing care management from Ursuline College in Cleveland, is assistant director and health care coordinator at the sisters' adult day care center on Lipkey Road, her first and only ministry since she arrived in the United States. She is also the director of religious education at Youngstown St. Maron Church, a parish of the Maronite Rite, on Meridian Road...
Sister Celine said she is diappointed that not many young people today seem attracted to religious life, and she blames this on the secular culture and its pursuit of power and affluence. She said she hopes that more parents realize the crucial role they play not only in fostering religious vocations but also in simply educating their children with religious faith... "It becomes harder and harder to discern a religious vocation today," she stressed. "You have to know God first to have a relationship with him. Since "online" is where young people are today, she said, she advises parents to "surf the internet for Catholic websites including information about vocations, " so that parents themselves can learn more about their faith and pass along information to their children. And, parents also need to be more positive about the Church, so their children will follow their lead, she said. "The thinking today is that parents don't want to impose their religion on their children, but people must realize that what they're doing is giving their children a valuable gift - sharing their faith with them. This is not an imposition." "In nursing," she continued, "You have to be informed about health issues in order to make an educated decision. It's the same with faith".
She said her biggest challenge in religious life is related to the above issue. Misconceptions about Catholicism in general spawn misconceptions about religious vocations, she said. In the 10 years she has been in religious life, she has been asked many times why she'd want to live as a nun, as though, in doing so, she is giving up her chance at happiness. "People don't understand who you are, " she said. They want to know how someone can be beautiful, educated, intelligent, live in the modern world and want to give everything up. "As if, you can't give  these things to God and still be very happy. As it it's OK for a woman in her 70s to become a nun, but not for someone who's young. I want people to understand: God is worth it."
Wearing a habit presents a similar challenge - not for Sister Celine, but for others, she said. "Many people seem to think that nuns who wear habits are not able to make their own decisions about anything... even clothing... like there is something wrong with us." But, women and men religious train themselves to do without attachments, she pointed out. Their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience are a free and conscious decision to put themselves at the service of God, in imitation of Christ. "It's the opposite of the culture today that stresses power, money and materialism. Being chaste is almost completely unacceptable in our society today."
"Our role as religious in general is to show that no matter what path a person chooses in life, God is there for all," she said. "Our presence serves to remind people about the presence of Christ in the world and in their lives". "We also pray for others," Sister Celine said. "Even if I don't know people, I pray for them so they can reach that peace, comfort and fulfilling spirit that I experience in my own life and that only God can give."