On the advice of the local Bishop Rafael OFM to found a branch in Portugal in order to prepare Sisters for the mission in Mozambique, the first Sisters came to Portugal in 1958. Here they worked first in Lisbon (kindergarden), then until 1974 in Almeirim in a hospital for the "Misericórdia", a confraternity at the service of the needy founded by Queen Leonor at the end of the 15th century.
In Lisbon, with the help of the Pallotine Father, Dr. Erwin Helmle, pastor of the German-speaking Catholic community, we were able to purchase our own house, which served the community as a monastery and in which a German-Portuguese-speaking kindergarden was established. Soon it was expanded into a school where exams could be taken up to the 4th grade, thus fulfilling compulsory education. This school was closed in 1976. At the end of the 80's, until its closure in 2009, the kindergarten was transformed into a day care center, where school children up to 4th grade were also cared for after school.
Em 1979, a Superiora Geral, M. Adelberta Reinhardt, comprou uma propriedade em Lamego. Até 2015, as irmãs trabalharam lá na Obra Kolping , para beneficio dos pobres, na pastoral das paroquias e com os presos na prisão.
At times, young Portuguese novices and professed sisters lived in our community in Lisbon, so that house soon became too small. In 1979, our Superior General, M. Adelberta Reinhardt, purchased a plot of land with a building in Lamego. Until 2015, the community was very active there.
With the Carnation Revolution in 1974, Portugal freed itself from dictatorship and ended the wars in the colonies. With Mozambican independence, women were also drafted into military service. To avoid this, some Mozambican novices and young sisters joined us in Lisbon, and later in Lamego. In this way we lived for some years with three nationalities under one roof: Mozambicans, Germans and Austrians.
The young sisters completed their schooling and professional training and returned to Mozambique. Later, sisters who needed rest also came. Only after a long break, two young professed sisters came again to Lisbon in 2011 to 2016/17 for academic training. Currently we are 5 sisters, three Germans and two Austrians, who live here in Lisbon.
We have always been pastorally active in addition to our profession. Even though we are all of advanced age, our presence here in Portugal is very important. One sister has been giving catechesis to children and youth for decades in a suburban parish, a socially deprived area, preparing young people and adults for baptism and confirmation. Work with Bible groups and assistance for Sinti and Roma are part of our tasks.
Another activity is our hospitality. Whenever possible we welcome visits from Germany who cherish being able to live for a few days in a religious community, have good conversations and guides to see the "treasures" of the city and surroundings.
Even though they are all of advanced age, our presence here in Portugal is still very important. Soon two sisters will come from Mozambique to increase the number of the community and work with us.