The Sisters of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus is a native African congregation founded in 1929. Today, it ministers in Malawi and Zambia in southern Africa, and has 168 fully professed Sisters. Amazingly, the congregation is still growing, as young African women continue to join the community.
In Malawi, the congregation runs its own primary school and kindergarten. In Zambia, they run a school for older children, offering education to girls who would otherwise have no chance of attending school. This is one important aspect of the Sisters’ work, but other Sisters also care for the sick and for expectant mothers in rural areas where there is no other form of health care and often not even clean water available. They sometimes have to travel long distances to reach these villages.
At the same time, the Sisters also care for albinos among the population, who due to their lack of skin pigmentation find themselves at the mercy of the fierce African sun. Albinos not only suffer physically but are also socially discriminated against and even excluded from society. The Sisters take them in and care for them, attending not only to their special medical problems but also to their spiritual needs.
The Sisters strive to care for all those in need, including malnourished children. Many of them also work in the parishes, giving catechetical instruction and helping the priests in their pastoral work. The great majority of the Sisters receive no pay but simply work for the love of God, wherever their presence is needed.
At the same time, it is important for the Sisters themselves to be supported in their spiritual life and strengthened in their vocation. The congregation aims to give them the opportunity, at least once a year, to take part in a retreat and recharge their batteries with a time of quiet contemplation. They also need to have an opportunity for ongoing formation.
Until now the novice house has been used for this purpose, but the community is growing and the novice house is needed for the novices and the new vocations. And the rooms that are still available there are not suitable for the needs of such retreats.
The congregation has decided to build a separate building specifically for retreats and ongoing formation sessions. The Sisters have already baked their own bricks and carted sand for the building work, and a considerable part of the building is already standing. Now they need our help in order to be able to finish the work.
ACN has promised $13,300 for doors and windows, sanitary facilities, corrugated sheeting for the roof and other necessary items.
Will you help these religious Sisters in southern Africa as they strive to serve the poor and bring God to the people? We are sure they will remember you in their grateful prayers.
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