Venerini Sisters

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(MPV); a congregation with papal approbation, founded Aug. 30, 1685, in Viterbo, Italy, by Bl. Rose Venerini (16561728; beatified 1952; feast: May 7) for the Christian education of young women, especially among the poorer classes. As a diocesan institute under the bishop of Viterbo, the congregation spread to other dioceses, especially to Montefiascone where St. Lucy filippini took up their work. At the death of Bl. Rose there were 40 houses in 17 dioceses. The sisters came to the United States in 1909, to a parochial school in Lawrence, Massachusetts. In 1914 they added a school in Providence, Rhode Island. Other foundations, usually in parishes of Italian immigrants, were established in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York. In 1926, they opened their United States novitiate in Worcester, Massachusetts, where Venerini Academy is located. In parochial schools, day nurseries, and high schools, the sisters follow the method of their foundress, who was a pioneer in the education of young women. They hold frequent meetings of the mothers of their students, in order to coordinate the school with the family. In 1963 there were 82 professed sisters in the United States, and approximately 600 in the entire congregation.

Bibliography: g. v. gremigni, La beata Rosa Venerini (Rome 1952).

[j. lambert]