Huys van Caritate started in 1768
governed the Institute after the example of the Foundress whose close associate she had always been. Died in 1814
re-elected till her death in 1834. In 1815 a Home was opened for girls, under the patronage of the Most Blessed Virgin and St. Vincent de Paul. The girls were called Daughters of St. Ursula. In 1819 the King ordered the return of the grant to Mother Isabelle. She was Superior for over 20 years having edified her community by her great generosity and her true religious spirit. The community had lost a real mother and superior who did only care for the greater glory of God and the well-being of her sisters and her neighbor.
elected in 1835 for 3 years – and re-elected till 1853. She governed her community with great wisdom and prudence. Remarkable were her edifying and pious life, her great faith and charity, her motherly love and care for the poor.
elected in 1853. Died in 1902 In 1862 several adjoining houses were purchased. She was zealous in the service of the Lord and of her neighbor.
In 1868 there was a grand celebration on the occasion of the 1st century of the foundation of Amerlinck’s Institute. In 1875 more adjoining houses were purchased and added to the already existing buildings.
In 1881 she was obliged by the “GEUZEN” (anti-religious government) to leave the first convent building with her whole community and school children. But she had unwavering faith and trust in divine providence.
In 1890 there was a grand celebration on the occasion of the anniversary of the Institute. Another wondrous favour received through the intercession of Our Lady and St. Joseph.
In 1896 she took in more ladies to the Home. She exercised her duties with simplicity, punctuality and great prudence. She was a real Mother and wise adviser, loved and revered by everybody, an example of virtue for her sisters, very zealous for the growth and the prosperity of the Institute.
In 1881 there was an order to leave the original building of the Huys van Caritate.
In response to an appeal from Pope Pius XI in favour of the Missions, and to a direct appeal from the Government of Ceylon to have Missionary sisters, Mother Gertrude did not hesitate to send a first group of seven sisters to Ceylon in April 1929 and a second group of five more sisters in December 1929. And this was at a time when the number of sisters was scarce and the work in full expansion.
Appointed in 1931 till her death in 1948. She took a 3rd group of Missionary sisters off to Marseille and entrusted their sea-voyage and their future work to the motherly care of Mary, Star of the Sea. She had to suffer all the trials of World War II 1940 – 45. In the 2nd great Institution at Courtrai and in the smaller communities, she improved the buildings, expanded the activities and above all, she fostered the religious spirit. In the first years after her religious profession, it was her task to care for the sick sisters. In the sick, she saw and served the Lord Jesus himself. She lived a quiet, hidden life, deeply united with her heavenly Bridegroom. Till the end of her mandate she was convinced that she had not the necessary talents nor the qualities for this task. All throughout she had to rely on her spirit of faith and her trust in God’s never failing grace and assistance. During her last years, she was mostly sick and ailing and very weak, but always full of patience and abandonment to God’s Holy will, constantly concerned and encouraging the other sisters. Outstanding was her never- failing kindness towards everybody.
1948 till retirement in 1966 at the fixed retirement age of 70 years. In 1953 she visited her Missionary sisters in Ragama, Ceylon, and planned the erection of a Novitiate for Ceylonese sisters.
In 1954, after much trouble and after paying a cost of 420,000 francs. she got back the foundation buildings in Courtrai and the “Octrooi” documents and everything that had been confiscated in I88I by the Liberal Government.
In 1957 she started the Federal Novitiate at Heule, “Immaculata.”
In response to the appeal of Pope Pius XII , she allowed one sister to join the Federal Foundation in Congo, Vicariate Bukavu. In 1961 she visited South Africa and in 1963 she sent there three Missionary sisters to the mission of Stilfontein, Transvaal. In 1963 she accepted the charge of the Fabiola Klinik at Blankenberge, where the sisters who had been obliged to leave Ceylon took up a new apostolate.
In 1967 she added a new apostolate and allowed Sr. Amata Belaen to join the White-Yellow Cross which consists in giving nursing and medical care to sick people in their homes.
In 1968 she made the canonical visitation to Ceylon from January 8th till April 17th. Through conferences and instructions, she explained to the Ceylonese sisters the proceedings and the resolutions of the General Chapter and the new rule of life, ” Accept me O Lord and I shall live.” Through personal contacts with each one of them, she tried her best to inspire them with new fervor and help them to become better religious, witnesses of the love of Christ. She resigned on account of ill-health on January 27
Sister Paula Spleers
In May 1970 she was appointed for a term of 5 years. In 1975 she was re-elected. In 1978 she visited her missionary sisters in South Africa who were working in another
district in Taung.
She is the present Superior General in Belgium.