Community Building


Eucharistic Celebration

Historical background of the community in Vatican

The arrival of the Bethany Sisters to Rome, this sanctified land, in 1970 has a great past. lt was the fruit of a vision and foresight of Father RFC Mascarenhas, the Founder of Bethany. lt was in 1956 that he brought two of his spiritual daughters, Sister M. Esperie B. S. and Sister M. Misericors B. S. for studies in Theology, at Regina Mundi, Rome. During their travel to Rome, he intensely felt that Bethany, which was planted in the native soil of India, could branch out even to the Eternal City. While taking the two Sisters to the square of St Peter, he prayerfully looked at the Basilica of St Peter and exclaimed, "God willing one day we will be international." These prophetic words found their fulfilment barely ten years after his death.

Casa Domitilla

Brother Abundius, the Procurator General of the German Brothers of Mercy, with their Mother House in Trier, Germany, invited the Bethany Sisters to Rome. Bethany was asked if she was willing to assume the practical Operation of the Casa Domitilla, the guest house, under the general management of the Brothers. Rev. Mother Macrina, the Superior General, who had wished to have a convent in Rome to facilitate correspondence with the Holy Seeand to have a place for our Sisters studying in Rome, considered this invitation a God given gift. Trusting in the Divine Providence and the assistance of the Blessed Mother, Mother Macrina ventured to plant Bethany beyond the native soil of Mangalore and sent six Sisters to Rome. On August 13, 1970, Cardinal of Acqua. The Vicariate of Rome, blessed the residence of the Sisters at Casa Domitilla. Sister Oliva was installed as the first Superior and Sister Anysia, Sister Myrtle, Sister Gracilda, Sister Flavian and Sr Jude were the members of this newly established community. The Brothers of Mercy welcomed them to their new home with the offer of every guidance and promised every help in their new venture.

On the 11th of September 2008 Casa Domitilla was closed as the Congregation of brothers of Mercy were planning to move from that place and hand over the house to lay administration, according to the agreement with this congregation we were asked to look for another house.
 ‘It is true that when God closes one door He opens another’.
Bethany at Pontificio Collegio Russicum, Rome
In the event of the closing of our community at Casa Domitilla Rome, a new place was found for Bethany at Pontificio Collegio Russicum, just in front of one of main Basilicas of Rome- Santa Maria Maggiore, in the year 2009.

Sister Irene, the Delegation Superior of the Delegation Abroad, felt a great need to have a house in Rome. Therefore sisters contacted our Bethany benefactor Mgr. Kasteel and with his direction ventured out to meet Mgr Giacome to seek for another possibility, on the process they have happened speak to Mgr. Natalino Zagotto too.

So, on11th September 2008, on the closing day of the community at Casa Domitilla Rome, Sister Irene the Delegation Superior along with Sister Geetha, the superior of Casa Domitilla and Sister Angelita went to meet Mgr. Natalino Zagottothe Episcopal Vicar for Religious, Rome. He presented to the sisters, the request offered by the rector of the Pontificio Collegio Russicum Fr Louise Cvikel S.J., who was badly in need of some Congregation to take up the work at Collegio. Thus we realised the hands of the Divine providence in our need.

 On the 15th of December 2008, Sisters Angelita and Sylvinlatha, began to learn the work from the Sisters from Ukraine, who were residing till then at Collegio Russicum and were rendering their service.  They officially began their mission in this new house on January 1st 2009. Sister Angelita the local superior, Sisters Fabiola, Prisca, Sylvinlatha and Ruth were the members of this new community.
ON 30th June 2018 Pontificio Collegio Russicum decided to combine two communities of Oriental and Byzantine rite and hand over the kitchen department to the catering service. Hence our mission in this place had to discontinue.

The saying came true once again that when God closes one door He opens another’.

The Capuchin priests of Ethiopia and Eretria invited us to help them in their mission and we gladly accepted this invitation and we officially began our service in this Holy place. This house is situated in the Vatican Garden.
Bethany Convent at Collegio Etiopico  in Vatican.

The community was officially erected with a meaningful Eucharistic Celebration officiated by the new Vice rector Hiale Mariam Woraku in English con-celebrated by the Rector of the College Fr. Amanuel and other two priests. Sr. Jossy Maria, the Delegation Councillor, gave a short introduction in Italian and thereafter we entered with lighted candles singing Bethany Anthem into the Chapel.  During the Homily the father highlighted the importance of building a community integrating the role of Martha and Mary. On behalf of Sr. Rose Celine, the Superior General, Sr. Carmella, the Delegation Superior of the Delegation Abroad, read the Decree of erection. At the end of the Mass, Sr. Carmella extended words of gratitude on behalf of Superior General. Thereafter we were welcomed in the refectory of the Collegio Etiopico by the rector and the community and had the Delicious meal with their community.In the afternoon we had Installation of the Superior Sr  Maggie with members, Sr. Sylvine Latha, Sr. Lucy Lanjklu,  and students Sr Anita Stephan and Sr. Alveena.

The Rector of Russicum was very helpful to us to find a house. He had asked all the Jesuit houses in Rome for it accordingly. Archbishop Cyril Vasil S.J invited us to this house. Sr. Carmella the Delegation Superior and Sr. Latha, her assistant, together with the sisters visited this house on April 14th 2018 before we signed the agreement. The sisters from Columbia were working in this house left at the end of June.

The Ethiopian Capuchins are in this house since 1919. As we enter the house there is a big chapel for the Oriental rite and at the right side there is a chapel for the Latin rite where the sisters have every day Mass offered by the rector or by the asst. Rector.

At present Sr. Maggie, the superior, is giving her services in the Refectory of the priests and Students, Sr. Lucy Lanjiklu is in charge of the laundry and Chapel, Sr. Sylvine Latha is in charge of the kitchen. She will have to order and buy the things and see to the kitchen department and maintain the accounts. There is one staff working in the kitchen so also one in the laundry. Sr. Anita who is pursuing her doctoral studies in Spirituality in the Claritianum University Rome, and Sr. Alveena who is perusing the depth Psychology studies in Gregorian University who are residing in the hostel close to Vatican  are affiliated members of this community. They are allowed to visit the sisters. Once a month they will come to the convent and meet the superior and also join for the feast days. If they have to reside there they have to inform the Local superior and the Local superior has to inform the Rector and he will have to get permission from the Governor of Vatican before 48 hours. This rule is also applying if any sister wants to come as a guest and reside there.

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