Pallottine Order pays tribute to Sister Anne-Marie

1st of February 2020 is a day that the Pallottine Family and people of Cape Town, South Africa will always remember. It was a day when many people of different faiths, races and professions, gathered in St. Vincent Pallotti Convent to say goodbye to their dear Sister Annemarie Niehsen, a German Missionary, who after her 52 years of life and service in South Africa returned to her homeland. They came to express their gratitude, friendship and appreciation for her tireless service in the hospital as a sister for all, for her fidelity to the Lord and love for our Founder St. Vincent Pallotti through living her religious vows, ministry and her dedication in building a better world and future.

Archbishop Stephen Brislin, the Auxiliary Bishop Sylvester David, Pallottine and Diocesan Priests celebrated together with the assembly a thanksgiving Mass for Sr. Annemarie’s intentions. In his introduction, Archbishop Stephen expressed words of gratitude toward Sr. Annemarie and recalled a few stories from his encounters with her and the people. He said: she had a great love and compassion for all the people, especially those in the hospital, whom she served.  She was gentle, smiling, always available, always at their service. Bishop Sylvester David, in his homily, recalling the saint of the day St. Benedict Daswa, 1st South African Catholic saint and martyr, said that the life of religious and missionaries is often the life of martyrdom. Such moments of life in South Africa also were experienced by our Sister Annemarie. Concluding he said to Sr. Annemarie – there are some beautiful flowers that bloom only in the night and you are one of them…

Sr. Annemarie’s life was a continuous conquering and discovery of what is valuable in life, what is good, beautiful, true and eternal.  Perfectly she sensed the human and spiritual needs of the people and had the gift of listening to everyone. She has a wonderful talent of communication with others, at any time and in any place – in the church, in the shop, on the street – but the hospital was the place where she dedicated most of her time and gave her whole heart.

With her love of God, her love for people, with her missionary spirit, joy and simplicity, she changed the flow of life for many – to a beautiful journey, bringing them the light of hope and blessing.  Here, in South Africa, she created a long history that will never be forgotten…

“I know” – said Sr. Izabela Świerad, Superior General of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters to all gathered at the celebration – “that Sr. Annemarie will never be separated from this mission, from this country, from its nature, from her sisters and brothers. She will carry her Africa with her wherever she will go. She will take the sun, the water, the warmth, the wind, and sand, the beauty of the proteas, the smile of children and tears of people, especially those who suffered. I know that she will not only miss those she loved, but she will miss herself as the person she was at this time and in this place, because she will never be this way again. The experience of these years and the memories she has made will be in her heart forever.”

Thank you, Sr. Annemarie. Having lived this way, may you one day hear the words of Jesus: “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Mathew 25:23).

Let us give praise and thanks to our good and gracious God for the blessings that Sr. Annemarie received during all these years. Let us give thanks for the gift of the life and vocation of the many Pallottine Sisters, Brothers and Priests who worked in South Africa.

The Pallottine Missionary Sisters began their mission in South Africa in 1923, when the Pallottine Bishop and Apostolic Vicar of South Africa, Francis Hennemann invited our Sisters to come to his mission territory of Oudtshoorn. Sr. Annemarie, a young nurse, shortly after her final vows in 1968, at the age of 30 was sent to South Africa for her missionary service.  From the beginning Sister was involved as a nurse in the hospital of Pinelands, Cape Town, first called St. Joseph’s Sanatorium, which afterwards was transformed to St. Vincent Pallotti Hospital. There Sr. Annemarie served to the last day of her stay in South Africa.

Today there are two small communities of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters in South Africa: Sisters from South Africa, Germany, India, and Tanzania who desire to continue the mission of Christ marked by the life and service of our Sisters there. 108 German Pallottine Sisters and 1 South African died on South African soil.  Our Sisters today live with gratitude in the heart for the past and in hope that soon more Sisters will join from other provinces to strengthen this mission.

Article – Pallottine Website

St Joseph’s Home wishes you well, Sister Annemarie!

Going back after 52 years!

St Joseph’s Home said goodbye to Sister Annemarie, Provincial Superior of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters, at the end of January prior to her return to Germany in February. She was so much appreciated and loved by all at SJH and played an active part being a board member and representing SJH at a number of fundraising meetings and events.

Sister Izabela SAC from Rome said that Sister Annemarie was due to leave in 2010, but she stayed on, and referred to her as the “Hero of the Day”.

“We started building the house (St Joseph’s) and knew that the foundation was already there. The support during those times came from late Archbishop Henry and Archbishop Brislin, while I thank Thea Patterson (director) -soon to retire- for her 18 years of service. We are all here together today and feel part of this special family. History will show your work,” she said.     

After entering the Convent: Kloster Marienborn in Limburg an der Lahn in Germany (Pallottine Missionaries) in 1958, Sister Annemarie enrolled for her Nursing Studies (1963) in Erlenbach am Main for her Professional Nursing Diploma.

In 1968 she was sent to the South African Mission in Cape Town to help the Sisters to start the new extension of St. Joseph’s Sanatorium, now Vincent Pallotti Hospital. Her responsibilities included planning and managing the operating theatres. In order to improve her English and to implement my theatre knowledge, she enrolled for a postgraduate training diploma in Operating Theatre Technique at Groote Schuur Hospital.

During her later years she started a district practice, treating and visiting patients in their homes after they had been discharged from the Vincent Pallotti Hospital.  After retirement, she continued her calling, giving pastoral support to patients at the hospital.

She will now be returning to Germany after a service of 52 years in South Africa.

“I wish you as many blessings from the Lord as you can handle,” Sister Annemarie concluded.


Saying goodbye to her: Chirstelle Cornelius (incoming SJH CEO), Sister Annemarie SAC, Thea Patterson (SJH Director), Adrian van Stolk (Chairman), and from Rome, Sister Izabela SAC.


Christelle Cornelius welcomed to St Joseph’s

The SJH director, Thea Patterson (left) welcomed Christelle Cornelius (right) to St Joseph’s. She will be taking over as new CEO when Thea retires at the end of March

Dutch Interns raise more than R40 000

Dutch Interns   Demi, Isabella and Mylene, raised more than R40 000 through crowdfunding to support various needs of the children at St Joseph’s. Apart from toiletries and casual clothes need for the holidays, they also funded the necessary school clothes and SHOES! We thank you and your generous friends!

Super weather, support and fun! @Stellenberg

Adopt a Bed: We achieved our goal….

Thank you to all who visited Stellenberg Open Gardens this past weekend!

A special thank you to Sandy and Andrew Ovenstone who chose St Joseph’s as their beneficiary for the two days.

Thank you to SPAR who again donated all the eats and two lucky draw prizes of R5 000 (shopping vouchers) each. The lucky winners are: Stephen Penso and Michelle Faraday.

A thank you to all the volunteers who have worked during the two days.

YOUR generosity has made it possible for SJH to raise just over R129 000- funds the shortfall for three beds in SJH!

Thank you.  


Western Cape Government Health Delegation Visits !

Senior officials from Western Cape Government Health recently paid St Joseph’s Home for Chronic Ill Children an on-site visit. The delegation was headed up by Dr Keith Cloete (Chief Operating Officer), the Chief Director (Dr Giovanni Perez), directors of the four substructures and hospital managers.   The delegation and St Joseph’s management team, shared experiences and common practice challenges. Discussions also included long term planning, the role of the private sector, multi-sectorial clusters and the development of a paediatric intermediate policy for the province.

Nappy Drive: Thank You to all our Donors (Donor List insert)

Nappy Donations received from 1 June to 22 November 2019

Anonymous Donors, 2 Military Hospital, V Adriaanse, Advest Capital Managers, AFA (Accounting & Finance Advisory), Enrico Andrews, Ursula Athiros, ATM Solutions, S M Beattie, M Bekker, Bootielicious (Annamarie Visagie & friends), K Bouma & M Wabben, S Broadhurst, Mrs G J Brown, Mrs J Bunsee, J Butler, Z Berrisford and A Macdonald from Micklefield School, Cape Cycle Systems, Cape Point, Catholic Women’s League Tableview, Mr & Mrs Carelse, Church of the Resurrection in Bonteheuwel, Z M Cohen, Connect 123, J M Cornell, Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Wynberg, J D Christian, P  Cleveland, Clicks Store in Edgemead, Clothing Bank, Constantia Bowling Club, Mrs S Dollie, G Duffy, M Duffy, Durbanville Catholic Church’s Fellowship of Our Lady, Dr W Erickson-Pereira, G K Everingham, FIA Peninsula Branch, Finserv, N Fisher, R A Foster, Friends of the Pallotti Sisters, Sandra Galvez and Neena, F Gool, F B Greene, B Greeves, Mrs S Grobler, T C Hadebe, S A Hartmann, Nicola Holbak; J Hughes and Walking Group, Tharuki Iddamalgodage & Emma Vargo, Incy Wincy College, C James, S Josephs Family and Friends, U G Kuschke, LED Tours, Lions Club in Paarl, D R Lyons, A J MacFarlane, M F Manwaring, J Martin, M Martin, Chuks Mbegbu, Mediclinic Louis Leipoldt, Mrs E  Meyer, Metrofile Movement for Good, A J M Moolenschot, L M Morris, J Moses, Mothers that Care, L Mfiki, A Murray, National Pride, NGK Ceramics, NGK La Rochelle, Northlink College Protea Campus Staff, J Parkin, Dr L Parolis, Pasco, Pep Stores, Peter Crumplin Trust, Power Transformers, C Price, Propell Sectional Title, A Prudence, C Redcliffe, Noemi Rentz and Family, A Roberts, Colleagues, Friends & Family, B Retief, Rocket Films, Pepijn Ruijters & Dominique Garrigues, Mrs I Sacks, SAPS ORS Border Policing at Cpt International Airport, Basil Sass, E D Sauzier, M H Sauzier, A Schreider, M Sellmeijer, C Shepherd, Settlers High School, Shoprite Charlesville Mall, Sourcing Solutions SA, Spar Western Cape, St Anne’s Primary School (Service Club), St Margaret’s Church in Parow, St Michael’s Catholic Church and the Life Teen Group, St Joseph’s Staff, Diane Stephen, M Strybis, TFG Design Centre, F Tribull, Mrs M Tucker, UCT – Centre for Innovation in Learning & Teaching, M van der Poll, Martie van Dyk, Bianca Williams, M H W Wimble, Woodside Retirement Village Tenants, A Zalgaonker, G A Ziervogel

Great Optimist Race

Some of our boys, excitingly learning to sail at the #sailingtherapy session at Zeekoei Vlei Yacht Club on Saturday. Don’t miss the The Great Optimist Race on 19 October at the V & A Waterfront, and #backourboat.

Will you be an optimist together with us?

“The Great Optimist Race is  about inspiring sick and needy kids to never ever give up and find a passion to live for” says founder.

The Great Optimist Race 2019 will be held during the Cape Town International Boat Show, on October 19th. Between 35 and 40 Optimist Children’s dinghies will be raced by adults ( Celebrities, Medical Survivors; Captains of Industry)and St Josephs Home has a boat sailing especially for our children. This event is not for glory, but to raise money and awareness especially focusing on disadvantaged and ill children.
The Race is a FANTASTIC and UNIQUE fundraising event, spreading optimism and HOPE.

The event will take place at the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa. So if you are in the area, come down and support our St Josephs boat and see who walks away with the coveted trophy.

Please donate R50 or R100 or a R1000 but whatever you can just get some wind into our sails. Our target is R10 000.

Challenge your friends and corporates, fellow sailors, yachties,  to match or better your donation, and help us to help other people.

Excerpt from 2018 Great Optimist Race:

 42 Optimist sailors set off on a tricky 3 lap course through the V &  A Waterfront, watched by 1000s of spectators. With the magnificent backdrop of Table Mountain, the sailors raced for glory and survival. The competitors comprised of adults made up of medical survivors, local celebrities, Captains of Industry and some pro sailors. Three separate start, beginner, intermediate and pro sailors, allowed for a good handicap and a chance for those who had only learned to sail days before. This unique race was all about overcoming the odds and surviving. It’s about inspiring sick and needy kids to never ever give up and find a passion to live for. So, as in the race of life, this race had some unique curveballs and obstacles for the sailors to overcome. Not only did the wind squalls and gusts in the second basin cause havoc, but so did the pedestrian bridge that opened and closed at will, along with “water pistol armed and dangerous” local celebrities Kieno Kammies and Tanya Neft on their own bigger yacht. These were the disrupters. The competitors had to get past these to cross the line.

Our Brave Survivors, Caleb and Jasper, neck and neck for 1st Place!

    It was Caleb Swanepoel, an amputee and shark attack survivor (in the Primi Piatti Optimist) who sneaked in to win the race, just ahead of Jasper Eales in the Sealand Optimist.  (Jasper is a liver transplant survivor).