About The Founder: Anneliese Cowley
Anneliese Ferchhumer was born in the village of Schlusselberg in Austria. After completing her schooling, she qualified as a theatre sister at a nursing college in Linz. In order to gain experience in the field of medicine, she took advantage of an outreach programme that took her to Lesotho to practice as a clinician. On occasion, this involved hair raising treks on horseback to remote villages to deliver babies, dispense medicines and teach the local people basic healthcare. It was also in Lesotho that Anneliese met the man she would eventually marry, Mr Vincent (Tunny) Cowley.
“We become what we love…”
“I see divinity in every client, there are angels here, in the simplicity and stillness.”
After her first stint in Lesotho, Anneliese headed back to Austria to complete a crash course in Spanish, before setting off to Ecuador in South America, where she spent two years – again hiking either on foot or on horseback in the Andes, to reach those in need of medical care. So firm was her belief that all people should have access to modern healthcare, that she then returned to Vienna for a year in order to train more nurse volunteers to practice outreach medicine.
Anneliese returned to Lesotho in 1975, and then married Tunny. They were both active members of Rotary International and Anneliese was Rotary Ann President. It was here that Anneliese’s passion for homeopathy was born. She learnt absolutely everything about the healing properties of every plant, herb, crystal, metal, foodstuff and any other natural resource that could bring healing and improve lives.
Over time she became highly qualified and developed an excellent reputation as a homeopath and healer. Anneliese and Tunny moved to Port Alfred in 1987 to develop the St Francis Health Centre. The thought and knowledge that went into the design were mind boggling. The light energy coming into the building is exactly right; the colours in the different rooms stimulate a variety of healing emotions, the gardens are laid out to bring tranquility to those in it. The centre is a culmination of her life’s work.
She passed away on 22 November 2015 after a brave fight with cancer.
A Legendary Force
Anneliese had something special – an aura or sixth sense that set her apart. Her gift for seeing through physical ailments and going straight to the root cause of our disease has changed countless lives. Her techniques were often unusual, but nobody doubted that they worked.
Anneliese’s philosophy was based on stillness and simplicity and her faith deeply rooted in a divinity she saw reflected in every client. She called her guests ‘angels’ and took a personal interest in helping each of them resolve health issues and regain balance in their lives. Her influence and presence fills St Francis today. She greeted the day and us with a: ”Morning angels! Let’s get to work, there’s so much good to be done!”
Love and Gratitude
Her mantra was: whatever you do and wherever you go, carry with you love and gratitude.
She loved and respected each individual who came to the St Francis Health Centre because she believed that they were guided here. She said to God, “You sent me these angels; now show me what to do for them”, and He did every time. She never looked for accolades and never lost sight of the fact that she was an instrument of a much greater force.
The prayer of St Francis, a fitting testimony to the life of Anneliese Cowley:
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy; O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”
Her legacy lives on at the St Francis Health Centre where we have erected a cabinet with memorabilia to remind us of her presence. A glade of trees have been planted in Forest of Giving in the Negev in Israel. Our ‘Chief Angel’ is loved and missed by us all.