Our Mission Around the World
Generalate in Italy
The Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden’s General Government resides in Rome, Italy. Pope Pius IX erected this house as the Generalate House of the Congregation in 1868. General Chapters as well as activities of the whole Congregation’s concern take place in this house. This is also the residence of our General Superior and her counselors.
As 2015, Mother Gladis Eberhardt is our General Superior, from Argentina. She shares the responsibilities of the Institute with four Counselors: Mother Ana Calderon, Vicar General, from Chile; Mother Cristina Gallucci, from Rome; Mother Philomena Vadakekanna, from India; and Mother Delia Russo, from Argentina.
As Daughters of Mary, we recognize the primary and supreme authority of the Holy Father and show him not only obedience, to which our vow binds us, but also fidelity, respectful submission, attachment, and availability for service to the universal Church. We live in communion with the bishops, observing their directives and participate in the life of the dioceses and the parishes, working in the midst of the people in keeping with the charism of the Institute.
We serve the Church in five continents, with communities in thirteen countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Italy, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Spain, United States, and Uruguay. To respond better to the needs of all in the universal Church, the Congregation is structured in Communities and Provinces. Each one of our Provinces has its own Provincial Government.
Below is contact information for each province. You can read more about the communities in each country below.
Mother Catalina Podesta Province
This province serves in more than thirty five communities spread throughout Italy.
Conservatorio Suore Gianelline
Via Cristoforo Colombo 10
Chiavari – Italia
Communities under General Government
Africa and the Holy Land remain under the General Government.
Democratic Republic of Congo:
Filles de Sainte Marie du Jardin
Citè Mama Mobutu CP 16181
Kinshasa – Rep. Dem. Congo
Hortus Conclusus Sisters
P.O. Box 6
Bethlehem – Palestine
St. Mary Province
This province serves in India, USA, Papua New Guinea.
Limbodi – Khandwa Road
Govt. College P.O. 452 017
Indore (MP) India
Mother Clara Podesta Province
This province includes religious communities in Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, North Argentina.
Republica del Libano 447
5000 Cordoba – Argentina
Phone +54 9 351 471 5370
Sister Crescencia Perez Province
This province serves in Chile, Uruguay, Spain, South Argentina.
Avenida General Mosconi 3054
1419 Buenos Aires – Argentina
Phone +54 9 4571 9316
Province Mother Catherine Podesta (Italy)
Read more about our communities in each country:
In 1859, the Sisters start their mission in Córdoba, Argentina. Their first assignment is the care of the sick at St. Rocco’s Hospital in the center of the city.
Then, the Congregation arrives to the capital of the country, Buenos Aires. In 1861 the Sisters assist the wounded during the war of Pavon. They themselves go to the battlefield to accompany the wounded into the city. When the war is over, the Sisters take care of the sick in hospitals, and assist the poor, the elderly, the chronically ill, the mentally afflicted, the abandoned infants, and offer excellent education to the children and the youth by founding more than twenty schools in a few years.
Argentina has two Religious Provinces: Buenos Aires and Córdoba. At the present the Sisters serve in schools, colleges, hospitals, nursing homes, parishes, missions, the coordination of youth ministry, and the Gianellian Family.
Following St. Anthony Gianelli’s genuine spirit, the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden answered the “cry of the poor” by opening a community in Potosí, Bolivia.
The General Government of the Congregation sent three Sisters from the Religious Province of Córdoba to offer their service as nurses at Daniel Bracamonte Hospital on April 19, 2001. In addition to serving as nurses, the Sisters have an important role of spiritual animation as well as human and social promotion in Potosi.
In 1908 the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden are called to spread the Good News in the field of education in Brazil, at Dom Pedrito. One year after they start another school in Uruguayana and a third one in Rosario do Sul.
Today the Religious Province of Brazil serves also in schools, hospitals, parishes, and coordinate three Social Centers following the spirit of St. Anthony Gianelli.
The Antonio Gianelli Social Center is a society belonging to the Association Education and Charity. It is an important work space aimed at the education of children, adolescents and families, enabling actions aimed at the promotion, social inclusion and the exercise of citizenship, guided by the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden.
Rua B. Africa do Sul, n. 07 91
787 359 Porto Alegre – Brasil
Phone +55 51 3245 2955 https://www.facebook.com/centrosocialagianelli
From Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden extend their charitable services to Quillota, Chile, on September 29, 1928 with the Foundation of Our Lady of the Garden School.
Then, on February 22, 1952 the Sisters open a school with the same name in the capital of the country, Santiago.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Saint Anthony Gianelli’s expression: “They will go where other Religious Sisters cannot go” is always present in the Sisters’ hearts. The mission in “Cite Mama Mobutu”, Kinshasa, being one of the poorest in Africa, makes the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden put all their energy in preparing the foundation to be able to satisfy the people’s spiritual and material needs.
On December 7, 1989 Bishop Mayala concelebrates the Eucharist with St. John Apostle Parish pastor and blesses the house where four Sisters take care of the poor. Overcoming the challenges of this mission, like learning French and an African dialect, getting used to a different “menu” and a very hot climate, the Sisters opened another community and gained young vocations for the Congregation.
The two-hour Mass, the melodious songs, and the contagious rhythm of the instruments show the great faith people put into their liturgical celebrations. The Sisters give 100% of their dedication to the poorest of the poor with happy disposition, serving them in schools, a nutritionist center, first aids and maternity center.
Paroisse Ste. Angèle Merici B.P. 1200
Kinshasa – Rep. Dem. Congo
Indore is a mission Diocese in the center of India where seven million people live. Only 35% of them are Catholic, from the remaining 65%, the majority are Hindus and the rest are Muslims.
At a request of Bishop George Anathil, SVD, the General Superior, Mother Rosario Zanini sends a community of seven Sisters to Khandwa in 1979. Shortly after, the Bishop of Khandwa expresses the same request. The Superior General, in the name of the Institute and in gratitude for its 150 years of foundation, consents.
Today more than 100 Sisters serve in seventeen communities offering their help to the needy in schools, social services, missions, nursing homes, boarding schools for neglected children, and children’s hostels.
It is Father Anthony Gianelli’s sensitive heart and spirit what moves him to start a new mission in the Church of Chiavari, Northern Italy. When he becomes aware of the abandoned orphan girls of the city, thinks of a group of young ladies who would take care of them.
On January 12, 1829, the first Daughters of Mary assume under their responsibility the direction of the Hospice of Charity and Work, branch of the Economic Society. Soon after, the Sisters’ services are required out of the boundaries of Chiavari and extend their mission to the whole Ligurian Region, offering quality education in nursery, elementary, and high schools and their loving service in hospitals.
The former two Religious Provinces: Rome and Genoa, joined now into one Italian Province called MOTHER CATERINA PODESTA. They serve in more than thirty five communities spread throughout Italy.
The demands of today’s society made them give special attention to disabled people, children coming from problematic homes, and the elderly. The presence of “Le gianelline,” as people call the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden in Italy, is also known in the fields of education, nursing homes, hospitals, accommodation for pilgrims, pastoral work in parishes, and youth ministry.
Palestine (Holy Land)
Most Reverend Mariano Soler, Archbishop of Montevideo, visits Israel in 1885. Near the Gardens of Solomon, in the Hortus Conclusus -that the Arabs called Hortas-, taken up by the fascination of the place and out of his great devotion to Our Lady, he decides to build a Shrine to the honor of Mary: the Garden Enclosed-the Fountain sealed. He entrusts the care of the Sanctuary to the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden. In 1901 nine Sisters from Montevideo start their mission in Hortas, near Bethlehem.
Today two communities of Sisters serve the people of Palestine. At Hortas their charity is rendered to children in a nursery school. The Sisters also offer hospitality at “Oasis Retreat House” to priests, religious and lay persons who come to the Shrine to make spiritual retreats, or simply to spend a few days or rest for the biblical significance of the place. In 1955 the Lord called the Sisters to the place of his birth, Bethlehem, where they serve the elderly and the poor.
Papua New Guinea
Archbishop Stephen Reichert, OFM Cap, of the Archdiocese of Madang, invites the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden to teach in one of the missions along the coast of the South Pacific Ocean.
The community is established in 2014 in the mission of Malala, located on the North shore, about 3 hours from Madang. The Missionaries of the Holy Spirit with the Priests and Brothers of the Divine Word were the pioneers of the Good News in this area.
The Sisters work at Malala Secondary School, which has a very good reputation and educates about 900 young ladies and men per year from all over the country.
The New Guineans live their ancestors’ traditions and beliefs. The missionaries have to work hard to announce the Good News with respect and passion without hurting their feelings.
The Sisters are also committed with social work and are involved in parish ministry.
The Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden had a missionary project to fulfill when they moved to St. John Nepomuceno, Asunción, in 1973. Thirty thousand people divided into fifty sectors lived there in miserable social conditions, subjected to great social injustices and victims of false ideologies. Four Sisters, at the request of the Bishop, started their mission at St. John’s getting involved in all kinds of religious and social work in favor of the needy.
Today seven communities offer their services in hospital, schools, parishes, and mission places. The spiritual fruits are visible through many vocations that each year knock at the door of their Formation House in Asunción.
In 1951, five religious arrived in Pamplona from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and on December 12 of that year they founded Our Lady of the Garden school in the San Juan neighborhood of Pamplona. In addition to teaching general culture and handcrafts, the Sisters soon open a School of Commerce which will form a large number of secretaries for companies, mainly in Pamplona and Navarra. Subsequently, the various stages of the education system were implemented.
At present, the School “Our Lady of the Garden” imparts Infant, Primary, Secondary and Baccalaureate Education, with a high level of demand, very positive academic results, endorsed in different external evaluations, and a special attention to personalized education and in values, all this developed in an environment of simplicity and closeness that our families value especially.
In addition, it has a female university residence. You can access the website through this link https://www.residenciauniversitarianshuerto.es. The Sisters also have a house of prayer “Virgen del Huerto” and nursing home in Guriezo, Cantabria.
Because the charity of Christ is attentive to the needs of others, the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden answer once again the call to serve. On March 16, 1961, Most Reverend Vincent Hines, Bishop of Norwich, Connecticut, gives permission to the Sisters of Our Lady of the Garden to establish a foundation in his Diocese.
The year after, on November 20, 1962, five Sisters take care of the domestic services at Marianapolis Preparatory School in Thompson, CT. Four years later, in 1966 four more Sisters join them. In addition to their work at Marianapolis School, the Sisters study at Annhurst College in Woodstock, CT and later at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, CT. for their Bachelor and Master degrees in Education. The mission in Thompson, however, closes in 1985, after a profound reflection on the urgent needs of the Church today and for lack of personnel that would satisfy the school’s needs. The Sisters also served 34 years at St. Brendan School in New Haven, CT, and 5 years at John Paul II Academy in Brooklyn, NY. At the present the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden serve the people of God in Middletown, CT, Staten Island, NY, and Johnston, Rhode Island.
In 1856 eight Sisters embark at Genoa, Italy, to go to Uruguay as missionaries. With Mother Chiara Podesta as their superior, the Sisters’ first task is to take care of the victims of yellow fever. At the end of the same year they assume the direction of Maciel Hospital in Montevideo, which is considered the first House of the Congregation in America.
The Sisters also take care of the wounded in the civil war of Paysandú in 1864. After some time they offer excellent education by founding several schools.
Today, the Religious Province of Uruguay serves the sick in two hospitals: Maciel in Montevideo and Galan y Rocha in Paysandú. The Sisters offer dedicated education to children and teenagers through eight schools in Montevideo, Conciliacion, Florida, Minas, Pando Paysandú, Piriapolis, and San Jose.
Gianellian Lay Association
The Gianellian Lay Association is an international missionary association for children, teenagers, young adults, and adults that follow St. Anthony Gianelli’s spirituality. These groups exist where the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden carry on their apostolate.
Gianellian children work mainly on their formation and learn how to share faith and service among themselves and their community. Gianellian teenagers open their service to the community needs, and are trained to be Catholic leaders who defend life from the moment of conception to natural death. There is a Gianellian Youth Group at Moore Catholic High School guided by Sr. Elida Ocampos, FMH. Gianellian young adults are involved in missionary activities and are responsible of the coordination of the younger members of the group. Gianellian adults work on deepening their spiritual life through formation encounters and prayer; they are a projection of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Garden’s apostolate.
We promote the Gianellian Family by sharing the richness of the charism with our confreres, priests, and laypersons, favoring a renewed and dynamic understanding.