Alexandria is “the pearl of the Mediterranean” and is famous among other things for the old lighthouse. It was founded in 322 BCE by Alexander the Great and is now the second largest city of Egypt. Through the centuries it has influenced the Mediterranean world and the three continents in cultural, intellectual, religious, political and economic areas.
Today Alexandria the “Pearl” and the “Lighthouse” for the present generation is the preparation of tomorrow through its university and its academic centers.
History of Notre Dame de Sion in Alexandria
Father Theodore wanted to establish from the very early history of Sion a community of Sisters in Alexandria, Egypt. The name of Alexandria has many old memories. Christianity was founded in this great Egyptian city by Saint Mark. Father Theodore was also interested in a special way so that the community of Sisters in Egypt would be connected with the community of Sisters in the Holy Land. He wrote to Sister Lucie Marx Meyer, the mother superior in Jerusalem, who would be responsible for the new foundation: “ You know my affection for this lucky country who welcomed the Holy Family. I believe that no other country has brought forth so many saints.”
The first sisters arrived in Ramleh – Alexandria by ship from Jaffa on Sunday 25 April 1880, the feast day of Saint Mark. The Sisters of Our Lady of Sion succeeded in purchasing the property of the Bulkeley Hotel in Ramleh on Saturday 1st of May 1880 . The Sisters moved from the Hotel Perrone to settle in the half-ruined building of the Bulkeley Hotel on Saturday 8th May 1880, and the first small class of pupils started in October 1880. Father Theodore always mentioned Ramleh with Alexandria. Ramleh means SAND because of the great empty stretch of sand in those days, replaced today by highrise buildings everywhere.
In 1970/71, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion passed their school to the Egyptian Sisters of the Sacred Heart.
Sr Mary Carmen Busuttil NDS