Portugal

Portugal—the blooming garden of the Atlantic with its flowers, vineyards, olive groves, pine trees, palm trees and cork oak trees—was the destination in 1961 of a group of sisters from various priories who established a daughter house in Carvalhosa-Bande, northern Portugal.

They were invited by the abbot of Singeverga, a nearby Benedictine Abbey. During a visit to Cuchi, Angola, he was enthusiastic about the work of the sisters and desired their collaboration in the Angolan Region entrusted to the Benedictine monks. At the same time he promised the sisters many vocations from Portugal.

The beginnings and further work in Bande were accompanied by many unforeseen difficulties. Therefore the sisters moved to Baltar in 1968 and built a private elementary school there. From 1972 to 1977, Baltar was a priory with a daughter house in Cazombo, Angola.

During the revolution in Portugal, the sisters’ schools that had been well situated until then met great financial difficulties and could no longer be kept. The sisters decided to give the buildings over to an institution for mentally challenged children. They still serve as a school for these children today.

In 1984, searching for a new field of ministry, the sisters came to Torres Novas in the Ribatejo Province about 15 miles (25 km) from Fatima, where they found work in a home for the aged. Here on donated property they built their first convent in Portugal.