The Maronite Antonine Sisters Congregation
The Antonine Sisters Adult Day Care
In 1989, a new group of sisters was assigned to the United States to establish a day care facility for the elderly, a ministry that was much needed and fast-growing in the region. The sisters who formed the new team were: Sr. Marie Madeleine Iskandar, Sr. Claudette Bou-Saade, Sr. Samia Abou-Shakra, Sr. Dolly Azzi, and Sr. Jinane Farah. Later, Sr. Barbara Al-Raidi joined the group.
In January of 1991, encouraged and helped spiritually and financially by the late Bishop James W. Malone, then Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, the sisters started to offer care and service to five elderly in their own convent. Then, through the kindness of his Excellency Archbishop Francis M. Zayek of the Maronite Diocese in the USA, a nearby house on the grounds of the shrine was made available to accommodate the increased number of elderly participants. Eventually, the number of seniors outgrew the facility, necessitating the sisters to explore the possibility of building a larger facility that would accommodate the needs of the local community.
Supported financially by their own congregation, by local religious communities, and by many faithful of the Maronite churches throughout the United States, the sisters were able to build a new facility designed to accommodate fifty participants on a daily basis. It started operating on May 27, 1996 and a formal dedication of the building followed on August 11, 1996 in the presence of some dignitaries and many friends. Their Excellencies Bishop John G. Chedid, Eparch of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles, U.S.A., Archbishop Francis M. Zayek, Eparch of Saint Maron of Brooklyn, U.S.A., and Bishop Antoine Hamid Mourani, Eparch of Damascus, Syria, were present for the occasion. Also, Sr. Marie-Xavier Skaff, the General Superior of the Antonine Sisters at the time, came from Lebanon to witness, encourage, and support this major event in the history of the community in the United States.
Later, in February of 2001, His Eminence Mar Nisrallah Peter Sfeir, Patriarch of Antioch and the East, broke the ground for a new addition to the center. The addition consisted of a physical, occupational, and speech therapy center, along with an activity room designed for the comfort and benefit of participants with dementia, as well as a beauty salon.
The sisters, in the same spirit of their innovator, Mother Isabelle Khoury, try to serve the poor and the needy through the frail, disabled, and elderly people who come to their day care. They pay equal attention to the physical, psychological, social, emotional and spiritual well being of the individuals placed in their care. They contribute to several regional and national committees that advocate for the care of the elderly and disabled, work actively on improving the living conditions for local residents, while educating them about available services that could enhance their quality of life.
Historical Overview History In The US Antonine Sisters Facts Sheet