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History

A short History of our Houses in Egypt

When the Sisters of the Good Shepherd were missioned to Cairo by St. Mary Euphrasia on the 20th of October 1845, Egypt was in name a Province of the Ottoman Empire. They were welcomed by the Sultan Mohamed Ali of Egypt and the Good Shepherd was always protected by the governing authorities and helped in their expansion.

Today the Good Shepherd in Egypt counts 49 sisters in 9 communities.

45 Final Vow sisters

4 young Professed

2 Novices

2 Pre-Novices

 We are still faithful to the guide lines concerning the apostolates given us by St. Marie Euphrasia.

  • Integration of our apostolates in the Egyptian society
  • In touch with the local people
  • Working for the development of women in a muslim country
  • Engaging in muslim-christian dialogue
  • Responding to the call of the universal Church and the needs of the country.

 

The first Sisters coming from Angers founded the first house of the Good Shepherd in Mousky on the 22nd of October 1845. The Sisters took in charge of a class of 70 day students in the big city of Cairo. They begin to study the Arab language which is a must but also difficult. The apostolate is slowly integrated into the Egyptian society, closely linked with the local people and the poor, thanks to the dispensary. We still continue the first work which is the student apostolate. It is just one year since we began a house for battered women under the name of “Beit Mariam”

In 1863, St.Mary Euphrasia responds to a request of the Bishop and sends a second group of Sisters to begin a second house in Port-Said. Thanks to the adaptability of our Sisters in their religious and community life, they were able to respond to the universal needs of the Church and the needs of the country in the two principal towns of the Canal: Port-Said and Suez.

The Church speaking through the Vicar Apostolic expressed a need for a hospital for the soldiers returning from the Indies with the opening of the Suez Canal and also an urgent need for a boarding school for those with social problems and a Dispensary to help the poor.   

On the 7th of July 1865 St. Mary Euphrasia with “great joy” announced to the sisters in the Mother House in  Angers the opening of the house in Suez .

In these two towns we continue the work by directing two schools, a boarding school and a dispensary.  

On the  3rd of July 1869 the house of Choubra, situated in the north of Cairo, was blessed  and St. Mary Euphrasia encouraged the Sisters “to have a garden”.

In the big house of Choubrah we continue our work with the young who are confided to our care today. Our apostolates embrace the young with social problems, (our work is recognized by the Ministry of Social affairs) , two big colleges with departments in French and English, a hostel for university students, a dispensary for the poor, a centre to welcome groups for retreats or sessions and animation in the neighboring parishes. In Choubra we have three communities.

In 1928, Choubra extended to Atta and established an annex-school. This apostolate puts us in touch with the young in a working area who are thirsty for the Word of God and who want to live in keeping with the values of the country.

A few years later in 1960 a new house is opened in Mokattam which is now the Provincial House. At the moment the novitiate is also in Mokattam.

In 1969 the Sisters move to Upper Egypt where there is material, cultural, spiritual and moral poverty.

First to Fehreya in 1985- and we use new means: a kindergarten which brings the Good Shepherd close to the local population in a joyous atmosphere.

The Sisters work in the parish and also are in touch with the two neighboring villages where they animate meetings with the young, the women, the families, handicapped persons and the elderly…

Then to Nazlet Ghattas in the year 2000 when  the Good Shepherd responded to the request of the Bishop by taking in charge of the house Our Lady of the Saviour.  Here the Sisters minister to delinquent teenagers, women in difficulty and the young who have been in prison.  They also work in the parish and in the empowering of women in a nearby village.

As you can see the communities of the Province of Egypt have evolved in their fidelity to our Charism and this gives us the strength to live in truth and fidelity to our Vocation which is to be weavers of Compassion and Reconciliation>

With affection,   Your Sisters in Egypt.

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