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Marian Convent of the "Sacred Hearts and St. Anthony"

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Sisters in New Bedford with Fr. Stefano and Mother General

History of the House of the Immaculate/Foundation in U.S.
In August of 1993 the Franciscan Sisters started their new mission in the U.S. From that time up until about three years ago, the Sisters lived in a rectory transformed, as best as possible, into a convent, dedicated to the Most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary”. Due to the fact that the convent had need of too many repairs, the Sisters had to leave. The holy parish priest of St. Anthony’s in New Bedford, Fr. Roger Landry, invited them to stay in the convent. He specifically requested the Sisters because he desires their presence in his parish. The House of the Immaculate (as the Sister call the convents where they dwell) “Most Sacred Hearts and St. Anthony’s” was built almost a hundred years ago, together with the most beautiful Church dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua, which it is connected to the convent. Both the Church and the convent were built by the French Canadians. Since its foundation, this particular convent has seen three other religious orders that have lived there at various times. On March 31, 2008, after much needed renovation, the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate officially moved into to the convent. In fact, thanks to the help of parishioners, benefactors, Third Order members of the Franciscans of the Immaculate (MIM) and many others (including those from the pre-release prison program), the Sisters, who sacrificed many a day and night, were finally able to move in. They decided to keep the original title of the former convent and also add St. Anthony, as this is his church!

Interior of the Church of St. Anthony where the sisters serve as choir for Tridentine Mass

Location of the Convent
106 Bullard Street, New Bedford,
The Sisters main apostolate in Massachusetts is precisely to bring the Immaculate to all souls. They are engaged in many various apostolates:

1. The Holy Hour: One of the main apostolates of the Sisters is to offer to the faithful a share in their daily prayers. It has been the desire of the parish Priest of St, Anthony’s for the Sisters to be present to the people, witnessing to them (also with their habit) the true authenticity of religious life. Thus, the Sisters invite all who so desire to join them in their evening prayers, which consists of Exposition of the Most Holy Sacrament, Vespers (sung), the recitation of the Most Holy Rosary, Eucharistic Benediction and a final hymn to Mary Most Holy.

2. Bookstore: The Sisters help at the nearby bookstore run by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. Food Pantry: The Sisters volunteer their time at the parish food pantry every Thursday, which feeds and clothes over 300 poor and needy souls. Some of the volunteers thanked the Sisters just for their presence because the people “behave when the Sisters are there”!

3. Catechism: The Sisters teach catechism once a month to the children of the Third Order members, known as the MIM, in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York In addition to this, they also run a year long retreat for the CCD classes grade 1-8 , once a month at St. Anthony’s Parish. There they spend a good number of hours (and perhaps more than half a day in the future) teaching the children catechism, Rosary making, etc. Vocation Talks: The Sisters also give vocation talks to different elementary and high schools upon request. Making of Liturgical Vestments: The Sisters also make the sacred vestments, including not only the fiddle back but also purificators, manuterges, etc. needed for the Holy Mass, including and especially for the Tridentine Mass as the need for these vestments are increasing.

The Sisters are also engaged in various Liturgical services for the Church. In Fact, wherever around the world they find themselves, the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate take great care in assuring that the Liturgy, both prayers and songs, are done with a certain decorum, so as to elevate both mind and heart to the things that are above.

Tridentine Mass: Every Wednesday, Friday and First Saturday of the month the Sisters sing Gregorian Chant for the Tridentine Mass. Wherever it is possible, they also have Tridentine Mass daily in their convents (although not yet daily in Massachusetts). It is for this reason that as part of their daily activities they have about an hour of song practice almost everyday.
Holy Mass: Aside form the Tridentine Mass, the Sisters also sing every Sunday at Our Lady’s Chapel in Downtown New Bedford, as well as every first Sunday of the month with the choir at St. Anthony’s Church.
A Day With Mary: Two to three times a month the Sisters help sing at “A Day With Mary” run by our Third Order, the MIM, under the guidance of our Friars.

Vocation Inquiry
If you are interested to know more about the religious life of our sisters, please contact us to meet with us or come and visit our community.

Sr. Maria Consolatrice, FI
Vocation Directress
Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate
Marian Convent of "Mother of the Church"
106 Bullard Street, New Bedford, MA 02746
Tel:              (508)990-0335        (508)990-0335