Religious Venerini Sisters
|Founded, Date/Place||30th Aug. 1685, Viterbo, Italy|
|Foundress||St. Rosa Venerini|
|Canonical Status||Pontifical Right 1933|
|Motto||Educare Per Liberrare (Educate to Set Free)|
|Charism||Education in all its ramifications|
|Purpose||Dedication to promoting the formation of the human person with a special focis on the youth and women|
|Arrival Date in Nigeria||May 2002|
|Location of the Generalate||Rome, Italy|
|Location of the Principal House in Nigeria||New Haven, Enugu|
|Names of Places Where We Are||Italy, Usa, India, Albania, Romania, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Latin America.|
|Location of Formation Houses||Rome, India, Brazil, Cameroon, Nigeria|
Religious Venerini Sisters
24/26 Fifth Avenue
P. O. Box 4346, City Layout,
New Haven, Enugu
The charism is SALVIFIC EDUCATION - "Educare per Liberare" ("EDUCATE TO SET FREE") Education in it broadest expression: in schools, parishes, social/pastoral ministry, health care, with particular attention to the education of youth and the advancement of women.
of St. Rosa concentrates with clarity on the es sent ial data of revelation and Christian piety: JESUS-MARY- EUCHARIST.
A characteristic feature
of Venerini spirituality, as in every spirituality, is fraternal communion in the Holy Spirit. St. Rosa was guided spiritually by the Fathers of the Society of Jesus marking the influence of Ignatian spirituality.
Foundress of the Congregation: St. Rosa Venerini
Rosa Venerini was born in Viterbo, Italy, on February 9, 1656. She was born into an honourable family consisting of her parents, two brothers and a sister. As a young child Rosa's values were implanted by her deeply Christian family and she cherished the noblest ideals. She developed a deep piety and devotion and at the age of reason she made a vow to consecrate herself to the Lord forever.
As a young woman, spiritual direction was an integral part of her life of ongoing discernment to know the will of God. Her Jesuit spiritual director helped to affirm her special vocation, not to the monastic life which the common setting for religious women of her time, but rather to embrace a radically new charism of apostolic ministry as she began to gather the girls and women of her area for prayer (especially the Rosary), for faith development, catechesis and on the problems of life. Rosa recognized the evil of ignorance which can bring darkness and death for the soul and which can impede every kind of development. From this conviction and at the suggestion of her spiritual director, she left her home and with two companions who share the same ideal, opened the first public schools for girls who belonged to poor families in Viterbo, Italy. It was August 30, 1685. Rosa was 29 years old. The people soon began to call them "Maestre Pie" to indicate that their life was dedicated to the Lord and their teaching was to form the youth in their religion and to love of God and neighbour. Rosa and her companions consecrated themselves to God as laywomen moved by apostolic zeal, engaged in the religious and civil education of youth, of little girls and also of the mature women.
News of the excellent results of her work spread to surrounding areas and many bishops, authorities and a holy cardinal invited Rosa to their dioceses to open more schools. In 1713, Rosa opened her first school in Rome where she had the marvellous experience of being visited by Pope Clement XI along with several other prelates and civil leaders. "He remained there for about two hours, listening to the lessons and all the usual exercises done in the school, with great satisfaction. His Holiness placed his hand on her head saying, Signora Rosa, you help us to do our work, and do what we cannot do; with such schools you will sanctify Rome. We thank you very much.' "The splendid praise of the Holy Father served to approve the method, the work and the spirituality of the Foundress, and to encourage the continuation and spread of the institution.
"By the time of her death on May 7, 1728, Rosa Venerini had founded more than forty schools in the Pontifical State. The gift of her charism, received from the Holy Spirit, became the institutional charism. With the charismatic heritage, Rosa left the Rule in which she expressed her ideal and the lifestyle the Maestre should live if they were to continue that mission and to spread it in Italy and in the world."
St. Rosa Venerini was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 15, 2006.
Ministries/ Apostolates The Venerini Sisters are engaged in ministries on five continents. In every location, the particular ministries the sisters are engaged in depends on the local needs of the people they serve.
Education in its various forms is creatively adapted in each situation. Education may be in the school, homes, streets, parishes, work places. Prayer, the teaching of Christian doctrine and morals, academic subjects, the arts, occupational areas such as sewing, needle work, computer science are some of the areas of education. Education takes on a broad spectrum in order to educate the whole person with importance given to the development of the true self, the whole person. Sisters are also involved in health care, pastoral and social work.
Addressing ignorance of every kind in order to set each person free from whatever binds him/her, is at the heart of our education.
Special Contribution to the Church in Nigeria
The Venerini Sisters have introduced their own unique charism, "Educate to Set Free." We have a House of Formation in Enugu, Nigeria, where young women a re be ing trained in the spiritual life and for active ministry in service to God and humanity.
St. Rosa Nursery/Primary School in New Haven is actively involved in educating young children with particular attention given to those who are poor. We have also established a Day Care program to help working parents.
The Sisters are involved in parish ministry - Parish Council, Altar Servers Associations, children and adult choirs, decoration, Holy Childhood, Block Rosary and youth ministry. Sisters are also involved in secondary school education and health care.
Sisters in Perpetual Vows
- Sr. Maria Cravedi
- Sr. Dorothy
- Sr. Martha Uche
- Sr. Ann Nwafor
- Sr. Patience Agams
- Sr. Mary Nwaiwu
- Sr. Sylvierline Nwoko
- Sr. Prisca Okeagu
- Sr. Mary Okoko
Number of Sisters in Temporary Vows – 3