Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » People & Places, Religion » 100 years of sanctity with the Pallottine Sisters
Mar 21, 2013

100 years of sanctity with the Pallottine Sisters

The Pallottine Sisters on Sunday celebrated one hundred years of working in Belize since the arrival of four young nuns in 1913. The order is small, but its achievements are many, especially in the area of education. The sisters were German, but settled in Benque Viejo Del Carmen where they taught English to the mostly Hispanic community. Today, because of the challenges of finance and human resources, the Pallottines maintain a presence only in Corozal, Orange Walk, Belize City and Punta Gorda, but their sprit and works have inspired the entire country. In celebration on Sunday the sisters and many of the faithful performed a re-enactment of the first arrival on March seventeenth, 1913. Freelance reporter Mike Rudon was in Cayo on Sunday and has the story.


Hector Silva Sr., Historian

Hector Silva Sr.

“On the seventeenth of March, 1913, four nuns that left Germany came to the United States looking for a place where to mission. They landed somewhere in New York and they met a priest that was serving in Belize, vacationing up there. This father was Father Bersabel, and so Father Bersabel told them look, Belize needs missionaries, and they came to Belize City and from there they reported to the Mission that was there, and they said look, the West needs, so they came by riverboat, the old riverboats that brought cargo and people. They came and they landed in San Ignacio at the old boat wharf that they called El Cayo landing.”


Mike Rudon, Reporting

One hundred years ago the four nuns on a mission of spreading the word of God and serving the community must have been greeted with excitement and anticipation. Today as they performed the re-enactment of landing in el Cayo they were welcomed with open arms by the faithful who showed their appreciation for the many good works of the sisters.


Hector Silva Sr.

They came through this road and they came to Benque Viejo, but they stopped somewhere here, because at the time this was small villages.”


Where they stopped on that fateful day one hundred years ago was San Jose Succotz, and today they were escorted with great pomp, ceremony and spirit to the Roman Catholic Church in the community. Onlookers and residents lined the streets with signs and banners expressing their appreciation and love for the nuns.


Hector Silva Sr.

“They came here and then they proceeded to Benque Viejo, and they were received by the people there in huge numbers.”


The passing of the years did not diminish the welcome, or the mood, which was a curious mix of reverence…and celebration.


Hector Silva Sr.

“And so they established themselves there at some very old little thatch houses and so, and eventually they built a convent.”


In Benque, thenuns were greeted by Mayor Nicholas Ruiz, who gave them the symbolic keys to the city, and the journey then ended at Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School, where a special mass was planned to highlight and celebrate one hundred years of service.


Rocio Carballo

Rocio Carballo, Vice Principal, Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School

“An occasion like this is extremely memorable for Benque Viejo, since this is an occasion that many of us will not be able to see again. We know Benque is an extremely religious place, and the people do practice their faith, do evangelize, and the Pallottines coming here I think is manifesting that indeed we welcome everything that comes from our Lord, and the religious aspect of everything, it started here, and it continues here, and it is alive.”


That spirit was alive today, and present at every stage of the re-enactment of a remarkable journey, and a remarkable century of service, sharing and community. Mike Rudon for News Five.


In Friday’s newscast the Pallottine Sisters discuss the challenges they face in today’s world, and the hope and faith they hold strong despite those challenges. Be sure to tune in.

Be Sociable, Share!

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

4 Responses for “100 years of sanctity with the Pallottine Sisters”

  1. Pelican says:

    Read in FB that there is a wish to carry out restoration of the St. Joseph Convent in Benque Viejo. I therefore send out an appeal to all alumni participate if and when approached. Or contact the priest and Mayor in Benque. These nuns have EDUCATED many of our Mothers, sister daughters, wives. We owe them this badly needed assistance.

  2. lucas says:

    If restoration of the building is true, they can count with my financial asistance, however, the deacon must vacate the place,

  3. dawn sandoval says:

    Nick Ruiz is not the Mayor of Benque its Mike Velasquez!!!
    and Lucas your right Kick the Deacon out, its about time.

  4. Storm says:

    It’s hard for me to imagine the courage and charity of those first 4 nuns, coming to almost the ends of the Earth at that time, to go to a remote village and begin to plant the seeds of service and education. Thanks to them and all the nuns who followed! They have improved countless lives in Belize over a century, and deserve our support into the future.

Leave a Reply