CHARISM OF THE MARONITE SISTERS OF THE HOLY FAMILY (MSHF)
The first female Maronite Congregation, The Maronite Sisters of the Holy Family, was founded by Patriarch Elias Howayek, Rosalie Nasr and Stéphanie Kardouche, on 15th August 1895. Historically the Maronite Sisters of the Holy Family was ‘founded for’ the ministry of educating village girls. The Congregation from the very beginning was focused on the needs of the times, committed to educational, humanitarian and spiritual service.
The Congregation is deep-rooted in the Antioch Syriac Maronite Church and is open to the universal Church. It perceives the needs of the Lebanese and Expansion while serving all, in the Body of Christ.
The wave of immigrants from Lebanon hit Australian shores, beginning in the late 1800s and steadily increased in the latter half of the 1900s. Many later Maronite migrants wanted to preserve their Maronite faith and tradition. As a result, the Sisters were sent to Australia in 1968, settling in Sydney, and have since then established two K-12 Colleges, a child-care, and a pre-school as well as two aged care facilities.
BRIEF HISTORY OF SAINT MAROUN’S COLLEGE
The history of Saint Maroun’s College began in 1968 when the Maronite Sisters of the Holy Family arrived in Australia at the invitation of the head of the Maronite Church in Australia, Monsignor Ziade of St Maroun’s Cathedral in Redfern, New South Wales.
Renowned for their teaching methods that respect the individual’s right to meet their full academic potential whilst preserving their language and knowledge of their cultural identity, the Maronite Sisters immediately set about to establish an educational facility that could meet the cultural and academic needs of the Maronite migrant children in Australia.
With the commitment of the Maronite Community and the support of the New South Wales Department of Education, the Maronite Sisters in 1970 opened their first Maronite Primary School in Australia with Sr Marie Henriette as its first Principal. Saint Maroun’s College would be located in the grounds of the Cathedral at Redfern, until its relocation in 1989, to the current site at Dulwich Hill. The purchase of the current site from the Carmelite order of Nuns meant that the growing needs for a culturally specific education of the children from the Maronite community could be met. The new site covered almost eight acres of land and could not only accommodate the Primary School from Redfern but also a Pre-school, which was established in the same year. The existing content on the site also meant that the Maronite Sisters of the Holy Family now had a permanent home.
The growing demand by the parents for continued education in a culturally and linguistically adapted learning environment meant that the students would be offered a Secondary education as well. Therefore, the first group of Year 6 students progressed to Year 7 in 1998 who also continued as the first stream of Secondary Students to graduate from Year 12 in 2003.
What seemingly was a culturally specific purpose of establishing the College is now a multicultural approach to preserving the unique educational methodology under the Maronite Sisters of the Holy Family. Saint Maroun’s College today is proud to have students from many different nationalities who work and learn together in an environment of harmony, tolerance, and love and where they are encouraged to compete academically to achieve at the highest educational level.
The success of Saint Maroun’s College today owes much to its Principals – Sr Marie Henriette, Sr Madeleine de la Croix, Sr Irene Boughosn, Sr Josephine Wehbe and currently Sr Margaret Ghosn.