The Sisters of Saint Dorothy
The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Dorothy’s is an international
institution dedicated towards education in a wide sense. The Dorotheans
are spread throughout the world in the different places named below.
St. Paula Frassinetti, founded the
congregation with a firm basic desire: that of being completely
available in God’s hands, that is by evangelizing through education
giving preference to youth and the poor.
In the Malta Province our work is mainly Education, this includes
the running of three schools, namely two Junior schools and one
Parish work and other ministries with the sick and the elderly. Our
Charism is to educate at all levels. Spiritual formation is always
In the United Kingdom the sisters run an International Student's
are actively involved in Parish Ministry.
St. Paula Frassinetti
Paula Frassinetti, foundress of the Sisters of St. Dorothy, was born
in Genoa on March 3rd 1809. Paula was the only daughter among four
brothers. While helping her brother who was Parish priest in Quinto
she felt called to found a religious congregation. On August 12th
1834 She established the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Dorothy,
which was initially under the title of “Daughters of Holy Faith”.
The Sisters spread in Rome, Brazil and Portugal until Paula’s death
on June 11th 1882. Paula was Beatified on June 8th 1930 and
Canonized on March 11th 1984.
Until date St. Paula’s body is intact in the Chapel of the Sisters of
St. Dorothy in Rome at Salita S. Onofrio 38.
The Sisters of St.
Dorothy in Malta: brief history
The first contact Paola Frassinetti, had with Malta was through the
family of Dr. Pasquale Mifsud and his wife, Fortunata nee Pace, who
had sent their daughters to the Dorothean school at Sant’Onofrio, in Rome. On
November,1877, one of the four daughters was taken seriously ill and
the Doctor-Consultant had advised an immediate return to her native
air, the only hope of a recovery. Dr. Pasquale, who had hastened to
Rome, broke the news to his little daughter. Maria was distressed as
she was deeply attached to the Sisters of St. Dorothy. St. Paola,
moved by the father’s anguish, sent two sisters to Malta to remain
with Maria, until God called her to Him after barely a month had
Mons. Alfred Mifsud, one of Dr. Pasquale’s sons repeatedly sent a
petition to Rome, asking the Sisters of St. Dorothy to come to
Owing to the Revolution in Portugal in 1910, the sisters of that
Province were exiled and dispersed. Malta was one of the countries
to benefit from this anti-religious persecution.
Three Dorothean sisters arrived in Malta in May 1911 Mons Alfredo
Mifsud prepared (Palazzo Mangion) for them in Mdina until they were
later able to transfer their Convent in Casa Mifsud which Mons
Alfredo Mifsud bequeathed to the sisters after his death. Palazzo Santa
Sofia was also rented in Mdina to help out with the adequate rooms
required to run the school until a larger building on Bastions
Street, adjacent to the Cathedral was restored and re-decorated to
house the School's increasing intake. Later on Casa Giuritale was
also leased and Palazzo Santa Sofia was returned to the owners.
Besides running a Boarding School and a Day School, the Sisters
dedicated themselves to the Apostolic Work of St. Dorothy in various
Parishes. The Sisters' main apostolic work was mainly with youth and
a “Free School” was run, adjacent to their Day School.
In 1958 a Kindergarten was opened in Old College Street Sliema, in a
building known as the "Queen's Hall". During the beginning of each
Scholastic Year a new intake was accepted, until a new and complete
Junior School was built in De Piro Street, Sliema.
In 1968 a community was founded in London, U.K.
In 1978 another community was inaugurated in tal-Virtu’, Malta,
since the Government of Malta had ended his contract with renting
Palazzo Giuritale which housed most of the Junior School Students.
In October 1978 the Junior School was transfered to Tal-Virtu
Seminary, where they occupied the Hall Block, as previously known
when still functioning as the female Teacher's Training College.
In 1979 another two convents were founded, one in Redhill, Surrey,
England and the other in Taiwan, R.O.C., in the Far East.
In 1997 the Junior School moved from Tal- Virtu’ to Zebbug where an
entire complex was built on Mdina Road to serve both as a Primary
and Secondary School Complex.
In 1998 the Secondary School vacated "Casa De Piro" on Bastion
Street and joined the Junior School on their newly built premises in
Until date the Sisters residing in Casa Mifsud still keep their
apostolic work with the children of Mdina and day retreats and
seminars are held in the same premises. Regular meetings and prayer
groups are also held for “The Mamme di Paola”
In 2002 Three Maltese sisters left the Malta Province to found a new
community in the Philippines.
In 2006 the two Communities in Taiwan and in the Philippines have
branched out of the Malta Province to form their own Region.