Mission House St. Anthony in Denekamp, the Netherlands
The young community of Franciscan sisters in Thuine had barely existed for six years when its existence was already threatened during the Kulturkampf (1872-1888) by the increasingly harsh measures taken by Bismarck's government against the Catholic Church, especially the religious orders. This made them consider a mission house abroad in order to be able to escape there. Thus, the estate "Het Gravenhuis" in the Netherlands was purchased. On June 28, 1875, Mother M. Anselma brought the first three sisters to the Gravenhuis. Soon the parish priest Father van den Bosch of Denekamp commended the sick in the village and the wider area to the sisters. In accordance with the motto "They came to serve," their work spread: in the care of the sick, in the education and formation of young people, and in pastoral work in the diocese of Utrecht and beyond.
The founding of the missions in Indonesia in 1932 and in Tanzania in 1960 was largely carried out by the Dutch Province, which existed from 1953 to 2021.
In the meantime, the sisters have consolidated to a mission house in Denekamp, which is assigned to the Generalate. The Dutch sisters, who have already reached retirement age, spend their remaining years here. The Indonesian sisters, who came to Denekamp in 2000, invite guests to Franciscushuis on the convent grounds, a place of rest, reflection, and encounter.