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Canossians in Singapore

The Canossian Sisters first set foot in Singapore in December 1894, less than 60 years after the death of our Foundress, St Magdalene of Canossa.

They had come from Macao at the request of the Portugese Mission in Singapore to run the girls' school that the Mission had started.

This was to become the present St Anthony's Canossian Convent Primary and Secondary Schools.

the Sisters opened the Orphanage and Boarding School with 8 boarders and 5 poor orphans. They were affectionately cared for. The younger ones attended school while the older girls helped in the household chores and learnt sewing and embroidery in order to become self-supporting.

Minnie Nunes, a boarder who came to the convent when she was 12 stayed on... first working as a laboratory assistant and later as a receptionist is still a receptionist with us today, into the third millennium.

Sr Anna Bennet from Hong Kong was appointed as the principal of our school St Anthony's Convent which became a government aided school. The enrolment doubled and a new wing was added in 1898.

On 5 May 1905, four Sisters from Singapore went to Malacca and took over the running of a co-ed school. They also started a boarding house for girls in need. The school named Sacred Heart Canossian Convent, blossomed from Primary to Secondary levels.

St Anthony's Convent in Singapore was raised to the status of a Primary House and became the headquarters for the Sisters both Singapore and Malacca. There were 16 Sisters in Singapore and 9 in Malacca.

14 August 1941 - Singapore. The opening of Canossa Convent in Geylang coincided with the beatification of our Foundress by Pope Pius XII. This was the first community of Sisters who were directly dependent on the Singapore diocese.

Within six months, the Japanese invaded Singapore and the Convent was used as a hospital by the Japanese military.

the Sisters returned after the Japanese surrender and established a private Chinese school and an orphanage at Canossa Convent. This was later converted into an English medium primary school due to lack of funding and was made eligible for government aid.

The Canossian movement in Singapore expands and in 1950 was recognised as a part of a region headed by a Regional Vicar with headquarters in Kowloon.

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