About the Canossian Sisters

The nuns started with Saint Magdalen of Canossa and now have 320 communities in 35 countries and over 200 years of history.

They have had a presence in Malawi for decades with education and health being the main missions.

The Canossian Sisters we partner with are very kind to give us a direct line to the grassroots.


The Canossian Approach to Education

Canossian sisters focus their attention on educating and instructing young people from all walks of life, especially those who tend to be neglected or have less chance of education.

The wider scope of Canossian education include:

• To become catalysts of change in the family and society

• To promote the growth of the person by valuing human dignity and personal gifts

• To guide towards greater knowledge and self-awareness

• To offer skills to each one so as to be able to live a dignified life

• To educate a critical and responsible conscience in each person.

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About Saint Magdalen of Canossa

Wealth and privilege did nothing to prevent today’s saint from following her calling to serve Christ in the poor.

Born in northern Italy in 1774, Magdalen knew her mind—and spoke it.

In her mid-twenties Magdalen began offering lodging to poor girls in her own home.

In time she opened a school, which offered practical training and religious instruction.

As other women joined her in the work, the new Congregation of the Daughters of Charity emerged.

Over time, houses were opened throughout Italy.

Magdalen also founded a smaller congregation for priests and brothers. Both groups continue to this day.

She died in 1835. Pope John Paul II canonized her in 1988.

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Our First Email from the Sisters:

1st December 2011

Dear Donna and Friends,

Greetings of Peace in the Lord Jesus.

I am Sr. Giovanna Tosi, the Provincial Leader of the Canossian Sisters in North Eastern Africa, which includes the Malawi missions, where Sr. Melissa is present as a missionary. On her return from Australia she told me about you and your friends, the interest you have for the growth of the little ones of the Kindergarten of Nsanama and your intention to support them in their education there.

I am very grateful for the donation of US $1237 you deposited for them. The bank in Dar Es Salaam recorded a deposit of US $1212.20 on 5/9/2011; a very big “providence” that comes as a gift for the struggling kindergarten of Nsanama village.  The donation is already in Malawi, entrusted to the sister in charge of the kindergarten.

On behalf of the parents of our children, who depend on the rainy season for their crops and some little cash and so struggle to find little money to send their kids to KG, on behalf of the sisters in the community of Nsanama and indeed from my heart, our deepest gratitude and thanks, which cannot be expressed with appropriate words…

We promise to pray for you and for your dear ones, as we ask the Lord to bless you the way He knows best and to reward you with the abundance of his graces. Every morning you will be remembered by the children in their little prayer when they gather at the school.

I take this opportunity to wish you all Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

In communion of prayer and mission,

Yours in Christ,

Sr. Giovanna Tosi

Provincial Leader