Pallotine Sisters by the Macal River Print
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Thursday, 21 March 2013 00:00

Pallotine siters by the Macal RiverThe Pallotine Sisters celebrated their 100th anniversary in Western Belize this past Sunday. The event began as a group of sisters started their walk on the historic boat landing and departure area of the Macal River in San Ignacio Town. It was a hundred years ago that the founding Pallotine Sisters had to travel using basic modes of transportation such as the Cayo River Boat to get to the old “El Cayo Landing” with intent to provide services to the Cayo area.

In quiet modes of reflection to the route once taken by their predecessors, the Pallotine Sisters stopped in San Ignacio for a brief morning visit where they were welcomed by the Catholic faithfull and delegations from other parts of the country. Mayor John August took the opportunity to greet the sisters congratulating them for being exemplary models to Belizean women. The sisters then stopped in San Jose Succotz where they were met by the local marching band and a large number of villagers. The experience for the Pallotine Sisters continued in Benque Viejo, where several of them took to riding a horse- powered device for over a mile in distance. The townspeople followed along with the Sisters, to end at the local High School Auditorium, where an open mass was held. A sign hung on the side of a house nearby announced, “Welcome Back to Benque, Pallotine Sisters”.

It was in 1913, that a group of sisters from Germany began their process of adapting to a new culture and climate and in the ensuing century, their followers went on to contribute greatly to Social Welfare and Education. In the 1920, the Pallotine Mission built a convent in San Ignacio, where the sisters were stationed and from there labored selflessly. A similar pattern of mission was established in Benque Viejo, where the Pallotine Convent still stands.