Pallottine nuns Novitiate Nazareth building, 1896. Also  the chapel at Novitiate Nazareth shortly after construction
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January 24, 2023

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1935 picture of the old convent of the Pallottine nuns at Novitiate Nazareth, Forest Home, Toledo. Photo courtesy Belize Archives and Records Service.


Pallottine sisters arriving at Nazareth Novitiate outside Punta Gorda, 1934. Photo courtesy George Villanueva.

Website of the Day
Jeremy A. Enriquez
Former Academic Director at SIT Study Abroad
Pallottine nuns Novitiate Nazareth building, 1896. Also the chapel at Novitiate Nazareth shortly after construction

This 1896 picture shows a building that was originally constructed by the Confederate refugees in 1867. This building at Forest Home Village, Toledo District would later become owned by the Pallottine nuns and serve as their novitiate; Novitiate Nazareth.

The Pallottine sisters first settled in Nazareth in 1931 on lands acquired from previous Confederate settlers in the area. Before the building was demolished in the early 1990s(?) after a new convent building was constructed, it also served as a retreat center for various church-based groups.

After the construction of the new convent building behind the chapel was completed in the late 1970s, this old spacious building served the nuns as a retreat center well into the 1980s. Former members of SEARCH and Parish Lay Ministers from Toledo can recall their retreats there.

The other picture is of the nuns at Novitiate Nazareth in the early years (picture date unknown). Their first arrival to the Toledo District was in 1931 although their first station was in the Cayo Districts since March 1913.

Also included is a picture of the chapel at Novitiate Nazareth shortly after construction and a postal stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Pallottine nuns in Belize.

Cordelia Espat: At that time we girls used to help the nuns clean the building and feed the animals. Was a very beautiful and relaxing place

Sylvester Cayetano: This was a beautiful place. I went there on a pilgrimage a couple of times. It's unfortunate that it's been demolished. It could have been preserved and converted into a museum. There's a lot of history attached to it.

Karol Smith: I am not sure if wood buildings can be preserved any longer with this woodlice scourge. Itís a real shame.


Many of us still remember "la escuela vieja" which used to house the auditorium where the Pallottine Sisters had the children engage in drama, poetry, song, and dance. The auditorium used to have a stage with the piano played by Sister Teresita. Christian Anderson's "Hansel & Gretel" which had Salvador and Elsa Puga as Hansel and Gretel, respectively, was so popular that it was staged several times. The building was demolished sometime in the 1980's. Photo courtesy Pallottine Centennial Memorial Project


Pallottine nuns at Novitiate Nazareth, Forest Home, Toledo, mid-1900s.

Photographs courtesy Jeremy A. Enriquez

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