The history of the Nuns of Vught
The sisters landed in Vught
Alix le Clerc and Pierre Fourier establish the Sisters of the Holy Order of St. Augustine in Lotharingen (in what is now northeast France), with the aim of educating girls.
As a result of the Combes law, which forbade religious orders giving education, the order scattered across Europe. The Sisters of the Holy Order of St. Augustine in Lunéville landed in Vught. They built a convent with a girls’ secondary education boarding school, which was given the name Regina Coeli. From there the secondary school grew to be one of the first Dutch schools which integrated a language training laboratory (1962), at that time a government experiment.
The beginning of the language institute
The nuns started their own language training laboratory in their convent; thanks to their international character, they had access to a group of native speakers who were already teachers. The combined infrastructure of the convent and boarding school made it possible to offer course members a complete package. In the beginning primarily missionaries and development workers came to learn languages at Regina Coeli, but the quality of the language training laboratory was quickly discovered by ambassadors, politicians, well-known Dutch figures and others.
Out of the convent
The language training laboratory left its original building and moved into a new building on the grounds, taking the name Regina Coeli. This building was expanded in 1991 and then replaced in 2001 by a new building on the same spot. A new wing was added in 2011.
The continuation of the nuns’ work
Sister Annette Heere published the book Het verhaal van de Nonnen van Vught (The Story of the Nuns of Vught). In the process of writing the book, she consulted the extensive archives of the congregation that gave rise to the language institute. Read more (in Dutch) >
On 7 August 2019, Sister Annette Heere passed away. She was the last sister of the Dutch Congregation of the Holy Order of Saint Augustine.