“I address this plea in a special way to those of you whom the Lord is calling to the priesthood and the consecrated life. Do not be afraid to say “yes” to Jesus, to find your joy in doing his will, giving yourself completely to the pursuit of holiness, and using all your talents in the service of others!”
- Pope Benedict XVI at World Youth Day July 20, 2008
Are you actively discerning a vocation to the Priesthood?
Contact Fr. Glen Nixon
St. Francis Xavier Cathedral
P. O. Box N 8187
Tel: 242- 356-3008/9 Fax: 242-323-3802 Rectory: 242-322-8528
The Samaritan Ministry began in New Providence in November 1988 and in 1999 in Grand Bahama. At the request of Archbishop Lawrence Burke, Fr. James F. Lotze, a Jesuit priest from Detroit and Sister Mary Mulligan, a Grey Nun from Pembroke, Canada, came to the Bahamas to begin a caring ministry for people infected/affected by HIV/AIDS. In 1990, Sister Clare Rolle, a Bahamian Benedictine nun, joined the ministry and now serves as Director. Together, these three instructors brought to the programme a background in clinical pastoral education, teaching, and counseling.
The Samaritan Ministry Programme is to train volunteers from the interfaith community who will then reach out in ministering not only to those infected with HIV/AIDS, but also to their families and friends.
To date, over three hundred volunteers have been trained in New Providence, Grand Bahama and islands in the Caribbean including, Jamaica, St. Ktts/Nevis, Trinidad, Barbados, and Belize.
Samaritan Ministry is also active in education programmes for youth, church groups and service organizations in The Bahamas. Samaritan Ministry also operates a weekly “drop in” centre, which gives support and guidance to those living with HIV/AIDS.
1837 The church was officially recognized, when Pope Gregory XVI created three Vicariates Apostolic in the British
West Indies, including the Bahamas in the Vicariate Jamaica.
1885 The Bahamas was formally transferred to the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of New York. Archbishop Michael A. Corrigan was appointed to the Mission and appointed Father Charles George O’Keefe to serve Nassau.
1887 Dedication of St. Francis Xavier Church by Archbishop Michael Corrigan of New York—confirmation was also administered that day.
1889 Five Sisters of Charity from Mount St. Vincent on the Hudson, New York arrived in The Bahama Islands. The Sisters opened a free school (St. Francis Xavier Academy) for poor children.
1891 Two Benedictine Monks of St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota begin to serve the Bahama Mission. Fr. Chrysostom Schreiner, OSB (the first to arrive) was appointed Vicar Forane of the Bahamas. (He died at San Salvador island in 1928. His remains is there today.)
1892 The first Solemn High Mass celebrated in Nassau. The first Out Island mission started on Andros Island by Fr. Chrysostom. Fr. Gabriel Roerig, OSB builds the first Catholic Church in Behring Point.
1897 First Annual Catholic Bazaar.
1908 Fr. Chrysostom established a mission at San Salvador.
1931 The Bahama Mission, now a Prefecture, was detached from the Archdiocese of New York and placed under the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith in Rome.
1934 Bishop Bernard Kevenhoerster, OSB installed as the first Vicar Apostolic Bishop of Nassau.
1937 Blessed Martin de Porres Convent, first local religious community, established on Polhemus Estate, Nassau Street, (current location) with the blessings of Bishop J. Bernard Kevenhoerster, OSB by Fr. Bonaventure Hansen, OSB. The first three candidates were Winifred (Sr. Elizabeth) Claridge, Lezretta (Sr. Maria) Rahming, and Avis (Sr. Theresa) Symonette.
1945 Fr. Frederic Frey founded St. Augustine’s College in the “Niche” (on the Priory Grounds) with 35 boys. It was established to give Catholic youths, especially a greater opportunity for secondary education and to promote priestly vocations.
1947 St. Augustine Monastery was formed as a dependent priory of St. John's Abbey. Fr. Frederic Frey, OSB was its first prior.
1949 Sir Cyrus Davis the first Bahamian lay man to receive highest Papal Honour of the Knights of the Order of St. Gregory along with Englishman Sr. Ronald Langton-Jones.
1950 Fr. Paul Leonard Hagarty, OSB was consecrated Titular Bishop of Arba and installed as the second Vicar Apostolic of The Bahamas.
1956 Fr. Arthur Chapman ordained the first diocesan priest for The Bahamas.
1957 Son-of-the soil, Charles L. Coakley ordained the first Bahamian diocesan priest on the Feast of Corpus Christi. The Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan arrived. Aquinas College began on January 4, 1957.
1958 Fr. Brendan Forsyth, OSB appointed first Superintendent of Catholic Schools of the Vicariate. The Gray Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Pembroke, Ontario arrived in The Bahamas. The last five of the Gray Sisters left The Bahamas in 2003.
1960 The Church in The Bahamas elevated to a diocese. St. Francis Xavier Church formally established as its Cathedral. Bishop Paul Leonard Hagarty, OSB is now Bishop of Nassau.
1973 Fathers Preston A. Moss and John Finger made domestic prelates with the title of Monsignor by Pope Paul VI. Peter Rahming and Lawrence Bethel were ordained the first two permanent deacons of the Diocese.
1975 Monsignor Preston A. Moss appointed the first Vicar General of the diocese.
1979 Pope John Paul II paid a pastoral visit to The Bahamas and was received at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre (now Thomas A. Robinson Stadium). This was the first English speaking country that the Holy Father visited.
1981 Father Lawrence Aloysius Burke, SJ of Jamaica consecrated Bishop of Nassau.
1999 Diocese of Nassau elevated to an Archdiocese. The Most Rev. Lawrence Burke installed as first Archbishop of Nassau, the Metropolitan See.
2004 The Most Reverend Patrick Christopher Pinder consecrated Archbishop of Nassau. The New St. Francis Xavier Cathedral dedicated.
2006 Fr. George Wolf, OSB returned to St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota after 60 years in The Bahamas, ending an era of the presence of the Benedictine Monks in The Bahamas.
2007 The last Sister of Charity of Mount St. Vincent bid farewell to the people of The Bahamas.
2008 The New Aquinas College buildings groundbreaking at Gladstone Road. Catholic Education in The Bahamas celebrates 120 years.
2009 Dedication of the New Aquinas College on Gladstone Road.
Source: Bahama Catholic. “The Archdiocese of Nassau Celebrates 50th Anniversary” page 6
Benedictine Sisters of St. Martin Monastery
96 Nassau Street
P.O. BOX N-940
Our way of life is not restricted to any one ministry. The Rule of Benedict affirms both manual and intellectual work as essential to a balanced life. Our small community of eleven (11) members are educators, administrators, Pastoral workers, healthcare givers, homemakers, mentors, and spiritual guiders.
On October 3rd, 1937, a new possibility opened up for young Catholic women in The Bahamas when three local young women of New Providence answered the call to enter religious life.
The women were formed and guided by the Sisters of Charity from Mount St. Vincent, New York and the Benedictine priests from St. John's Abbey in Minnesota.
In 1962 the Sisters of St. Martin joined the Benedictine Community of St. Benedict’s Convent of St. Joseph, Minnesota. They became a part of a great Monastic Community with a tradition that dates its origin to the sixth century following the rule and customs of its founder, St. Benedict and his twin sister Scholastica, in the Caves of Subiaco, Italy. We became an independent Monastery in 1994.
We, the Benedictine Sisters of St. Martin Monastery, Nassau Bahamas are a monastic community of women, seeking to follow Christ through a vowed life of Stability, Fidelity to the monastic way of life and obedience. We strive to be rooted in Jesus Christ, Our Benedictine heritage and the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.
The grace of "preferring nothing to Christ" impels us to contemplate and hear God's call, evident in the needs of the local church and the world. Inspired and formed by the Gospel, the Rule of Benedict and the Benedictine Tradition, we offer hope and ministry freely as our gifts and vows allow.
Vocations - Become a Sister
Is God calling you to become a Sister? Come and discern how you may respond to God's calling as a Benedictine Sister.
For further information contact St. Martin Monastery Vocation Director Sister Marva Coakley. You are invited to join the sisters at prayer.
Become an Oblate
Oblates of St. Benedict are Christian individuals or families who have associated themselves with a Benedictine community in order to enrich their Christian way of life. Oblates shape their lives by living the wisdom of Christ as interpreted by St. Benedict. Oblates seek God by striving to become holy in their chosen way of life. By integrating their prayer and work, they manifest Christ's presence in society.
Interested in becoming an Oblate? Contact Sister Agatha Hunt, Director
Sister Mary Benedict Pratt, OSB - Prioress
Sister Jucintha Neely, OSB
Sister Mary Josephine Albury, OSB
Sister Marva Coakley, OSB
Sister Clare Rolle, OSB – Director of the Samaritan Ministry
Sister Cecilia Albury, OSB
Sister Vernice Wilson, OSB
Sister Agatha Hunt, OSB
Sister Ena Albury, OSB
Sister Janis Coakley, OSB
Sister Annie Thompson, OSB
Visit our gift shop and see the variety of homemade crafts and religious articles.
Other Archdiocesan Agencies
Archdiocesan Women's Auxiliary
Mrs. Virginia Pinder, President
(Served by volunteers)
Tel: (242) 325-6855
Mr. Keith Roberts - Te l: 364-4691
Mr. Ricardo Demeritte - Cell : 434-9047
Mr. Benson Russell - Cell: 525-3560
P. O. Box FH 14605
Tel: 324-8669 Fax : 324-8670
Deacon Andrew Burrows, Director
Mrs. Theresa Bandelier, Staff
Mr. Simeon Sylvain, Staff
Msgr. Simeon Roberts, Chaplain - Tel: 322-5579
Sr. Ena Albury, O.S.B., Assistant Chaplain - Tel: 323-55 17
Knights of Columbus (K of C)
Greg Christie, District Deputy
Nassau Council 10415
Joseph Johnson, Grand Knight
Tel: (242) 326-6526, 327-6986/9
Grand Bahama Council 10647
Randy Minnis, Grand Knight
Cell: (242) 442-0342
Email: minnis50@ hotmail.com
West Nassau Council 11755
Keith Roberts, Grand Knight
Tel: 364-4691, Cell: 467-3459
Email: k2-86@ hotmail.com
North Eleuthera Council 12692
Thomas Albury, Grand Knight
Tel: (242) 225-1463
Cell: (242) 441-2874
Legion of Mary
Deacon Gregory Taylor, Spiritual Director - Tel: 393-8863
Marjorie Davis, President of the Curia - Tel: 325-4125
Loyola Hall, Gladstone Road
Te l: 361-1717 Fax: 361-1718
Deacon Andrew Burrows, Manager
Tel: 362-1434 P. O. Box SS 5422
Nazareth Centre, Millennium Gardens
Ruth Strachan, Acting Administrator
Tel/Fax : 328-0901
Pontifical Mission Societies
Fr. Alain M. Laverne, Director
Te l: 325-4521
Email: alaverne@ hotmail.com
Fr. Glen Nixon, Chaplain - Tel: 356-3008/9
Deacon Gregory Taylor - Tel: 393-8863 Cell: 428-4114
Samaritan Ministries, Delancey Street
Sr. Clare Rolle, O.S.B., Director
Te l: 325-9326/7
St.Vincent de Paul Society
Ophelia Rolle, President
Tel: 302-8727 or 324-3709