Olivetan Benedictine Sisters of Jonesboro

From FranaWiki

The Olivetan Benedictine Sisters of Jonesboro is a monastic order at the Holy Angels Convent in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Holy Angels Convent was founded in 1887. The convent was established as a mission of the Convent of Maria Rickenbach located in the Swiss Canton of Unterwalden. The mission was originally established near Conception, Missouri, by five Sisters. Later, four Sisters left the Missouri convent to open a the Convent Maria Stein and a school in Pocahontas, Arkansas.

The school in Pocahontas was opened by Mother Beatrice Renggli on January 2, 1888, with 103 enrolled students. A house to educate black children was established the next year, but local resistance caused its closure after only one year. The school grew rapidly, and offshoots were established in Paragould and Jonesboro. Other Sisters of the Order left for schools in Texas, Illinois, Missouri, and Louisiana.

In 1893 control of the convent was moved to the Olivetan Benedictine Congregation in the Diocese of Little Rock. The Sisters began wearing the white habit at this time. All Sisters in Pocahontas moved to Holy Angels Convent in Jonesboro on July 4, 1898 in the wake of a typhoid epidemic.

The Sisters established St. Bernards Hospital on July 5, 1900, in order to treat victims of malaria, which had become established in the region in 1899. The hospital was originally a six-room wood-frame house on East Matthews Street in Jonesboro. The hospital today serves much of northeast Arkansas.

In 1930 the convent opened Holy Angels Academy. The convent relocated to the countryside north of Jonesboro in 1974. The new convent was constructed in the shape of the Benedictine Cross.


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