Men’s School of Nursing of The Brothers Hospitallers of St. John of God – Fatebenefratelli – in Cracow

This School had been working officialy only one year at the Cracow Convent: since 1938 up to the WW II outbreak. However, nursing courses preparing to a national nursing exams were organized by the Fatebenefratelli much longer. The first documented course in a newly established Polish Province were organized in 1921 by brother Jacek Misiak, provincial of that time. Together with a noviciate, they were moving in different places (Cracow, Katowice-Bogucice). There were not only clergymen and women among the students, but also the laymen.

According to the Act on Nursing on 21.02.1936, the Fatebenefratelli transformed the courses into the School of Nursing in 1934; it’s main instructor became Halina Antoniewicz. The Ministry for Social Care accepted existing Men’s School of Nursing as the Private Nursing School of the Fatebenefratelli Convent in Cracow in 1938. The School aimed in “theoretical and practical vocational education of nurses”, grounded on Catholic ethics. A course was 2,5 years long, the students were either monks or laymen “of immaculate past”, 18-30 years old.

The last exam were taken in May 1939. Education was interrupted in September by the war. After the war the Fatebenefratelli tried to renew the activity, but regardless the Ministry for Health acceptance, it did not happen because of lacking dormitory, nationalization of a hospital, and a new government aversion to religious institutions.

Elaborated by Marek Bebak

Literature: Helena Komaryńska-Polak, Opiekuńcza działalność bonifratrów w Krakowie,
w: Kazimiera Zahradniczek, ed.,  Dzieje pielęgniarstwa w Krakowie, Kraków 2011, pp. 19-51.