Our Pioneers

pioneersThe nucleus of the Congregation consisted of three young ladies who had the courage and generosity to answer God's call to service.


On June 8, 1843, Pastor Bernardinus Joannes van Miert, then parish priest of Veghel, Netherlands, brought the three Postulants to the Novitiate of the Congregation of the Penitents-Recollectines in Roosendaal under the care of Mother Marie Joseph Raaymakers, the Superior of the Congregation.

On July 23, 1843 they received the habit as novices. Miss Jacoba Petronella van Miert received the name Sister Maria Teresia of St. Joseph, Miss Maria van Hoof took the name Sister Maria Bernardina of the Holy Name of Jesus, and Miss Maria de Roij chose the name Sister Maria Francisca of the Holy Family.

During their novitiate year at Roosendaal, Sister Augustine was their Novice Mistress, but Mother Joseph had a deep influence on the formation of the Novices from Veghel. This formation would imprint an indelible mark on their future life.

 

On June 23, 1844 the three Novices, accompanied by Mother Joseph, left Roosendaal and were welcomed by the the whole town in Veghel. The following day Mother Joseph appointed Sister Teresia van Miert as temporary Superior. Thus began the pioneer community of the Franciscan Sisters of Veghel.

It was on September 19, 1844 that the three Sisters made their solemn profession. Msgr. Joannes Zwijsen presided over the ceremony. He established, upheld and confirmed the new Congregation himself. After an election was held in accordance with the Constitutions, Sister Teresia van Miert was appointed by Msgr. Zwijsen as general superior of the newly, solemnly founded religious community for a period of six years. She would fulfil this function till September 11, 1891.