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The Sisters of Saint Dorothy

The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Dorothy’s is an international institution dedicated towards education in a wide sense. The Dorotheans are spread throughout the world in the different places named below.

St. Paula Frassinetti, founded the congregation with a firm basic desire: that of being completely available in God’s hands, that is by evangelizing through education giving preference to youth and the poor.

In the Malta Province our work is mainly Education, this includes the running of three schools, namely two Junior schools and one Senior School.

Parish work and other ministries with the sick and the elderly. Our Charism is to educate at all levels. Spiritual formation is always given priority.

In the United Kingdom the sisters run an International Student's Residence and are actively involved in Parish Ministry.

St. Paula Frassinetti

Paula Frassinetti, foundress of the Sisters of St. Dorothy, was born in Genoa on March 3rd 1809. Paula was the only daughter among four brothers. While helping her brother who was Parish priest in Quinto she felt called to found a religious congregation. On August 12th 1834 She established the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Dorothy, which was initially under the title of “Daughters of Holy Faith”.

The Sisters spread in Rome, Brazil and Portugal until Paula’s death on June 11th 1882. Paula was Beatified on June 8th 1930 and Canonized on March 11th 1984.

Until date St. Paula’s body is intact in the Chapel of the Sisters of St. Dorothy in Rome at Salita S. Onofrio 38.

The Sisters of St. Dorothy in Malta: brief history

The first contact Paola Frassinetti, had with Malta was through the family of Dr. Pasquale Mifsud and his wife, Fortunata nee Pace, who had sent their daughters to the Dorothean school at Sant’Onofrio, in Rome. On November,1877, one of the four daughters was taken seriously ill and the Doctor-Consultant had advised an immediate return to her native air, the only hope of a recovery. Dr. Pasquale, who had hastened to Rome, broke the news to his little daughter. Maria was distressed as she was deeply attached to the Sisters of St. Dorothy. St. Paola, moved by the father’s anguish, sent two sisters to Malta to remain with Maria, until God called her to Him after barely a month had elapsed.

Mons. Alfred Mifsud, one of Dr. Pasquale’s sons repeatedly sent a petition to Rome, asking the Sisters of St. Dorothy to come to Malta.

Owing to the Revolution in Portugal in 1910, the sisters of that Province were exiled and dispersed. Malta was one of the countries to benefit from this anti-religious persecution.

Three Dorothean sisters arrived in Malta in May 1911 Mons Alfredo Mifsud prepared (Palazzo Mangion) for them in Mdina until they were later able to transfer their Convent in Casa Mifsud which Mons Alfredo Mifsud bequeathed to the sisters after his death. Palazzo Santa Sofia was also rented in Mdina to help out with the adequate rooms required to run the school until a larger building on Bastions Street, adjacent to the Cathedral was restored and re-decorated to house the School's increasing intake. Later on Casa Giuritale was also leased and Palazzo Santa Sofia was returned to the owners.

Besides running a Boarding School and a Day School, the Sisters dedicated themselves to the Apostolic Work of St. Dorothy in various Parishes. The Sisters' main apostolic work was mainly with youth and a “Free School” was run, adjacent to their Day School.

In 1958 a Kindergarten was opened in Old College Street Sliema, in a building known as the "Queen's Hall". During the beginning of each Scholastic Year a new intake was accepted, until a new and complete Junior School was built in De Piro Street, Sliema.

In 1968 a community was founded in London, U.K.

In 1978 another community was inaugurated in tal-Virtu’, Malta, since the Government of Malta had ended his contract with renting Palazzo Giuritale which housed most of the Junior School Students. In October 1978 the Junior School was transfered to Tal-Virtu Seminary, where they occupied the Hall Block, as previously known when still functioning as the female Teacher's Training College.

In 1979 another two convents were founded, one in Redhill, Surrey, England and the other in Taiwan, R.O.C., in the Far East.

In 1997 the Junior School moved from Tal- Virtu’ to Zebbug where an entire complex was built on Mdina Road to serve both as a Primary and Secondary School Complex.

In 1998 the Secondary School vacated "Casa De Piro" on Bastion Street and joined the Junior School on their newly built premises in Zebbug.

Until date the Sisters residing in Casa Mifsud still keep their apostolic work with the children of Mdina and day retreats and seminars are held in the same premises. Regular meetings and prayer groups are also held for “The Mamme di Paola”

In 2002 Three Maltese sisters left the Malta Province to found a new community in the Philippines.

In 2006 the two Communities in Taiwan and in the Philippines have branched out of the Malta Province to form their own Region.


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