The origin of the Girls’ Hostel dates back to the establishment of St Anne’s School for girls by Abbot Francis Pfanner in 1885. His aim was to train and educate girls so that they would become genuine Christian women and mothers. “I wish to have African girls educated” (Abbot Francis) – for this purpose the Founder of Mariannhill called into being the CPS Congregation. The first twenty-two girls were taught in the home of Maria Lassak, the daughter of an European colonist. On 09 September 1885 they moved into the completed Convent and the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood took charge. Some time later the girls were housed in a two-storied building near the Convent. In 1895 the girls were transferred to the newly built St Anne’s School. In 1926 an additional building just opposite St Anne’s was erected to provide more accommodation for girls. Later this same building was used to accommodate the weaving school and still later it became the Adult Education Centre. Since 1999 it is again used by the High School girls for Grade 12 under the name of ‘Khula’ (growing).
In 1932, the ‘St Martha’ building was completed. It now serves as a hostel for the Grade 8 girls. The big ‘St Martin de Porres’ hostel was built between 1952 and1954. Besides the High School girls it accommodated the Teacher-Training students up to 1973. In 1998 a recreational hall called ‘Thandanani Hall’ was erected by the generosity of the Mariannhill Fathers and the Sisters of the Precious Blood which is available for the girls. At present the Hostel provides accommodation for 270 girls while ‘St Anna’ is used for administrative purposes. Though the Girls’ Hostel is part of the co-educational St Francis College, the CPS Congregation has run it independently. As a result of new legislation and changing circumstances in South Africa the relevant CPS authorities decided to have the Girls’ Hostel declared a Public Benefit Organisation. On 01 June 2001 the three founding members Sr A.M.D. Funken, Sr G. Fink and Sr A.K. Tabernig accepted the Constitution for St Francis College Girls’ Hostel Mariannhill, a Department of the Mariannhill Secondary Private Independent School (known traditionally as St Francis College). A Board of Management has been entrusted with the running of the business.
It remains the aim of this boarding facility to assist the girls in their holistic growth while aspiring to complete their Matric. Emphasis is placed on the spiritual development while social skills are honed through the living together at the Hostel. A dedicated staff assists Sr Hubertina Fink in providing a friendly and warm environment where joys and concerns are addressed in a caring and compassionate fashion.
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