The Sisters of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus are a local African congregation founded in 1929 and today ministers to Malawi and Zambia in southern Africa. It comprises 168 fully professed religious and 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. Others 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, they also care for people with albinism, who on account of their lack of skin pigmentation find themselves at the mercy of the fierce African sun. In fact, people with albinism not only suffer physically, but also socially as they are often 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 especially to their spiritual needs. The sisters care for all those in need and give special attention to malnourished children. Many work in the parishes, giving catechetical instruction and helping the priests in their pastoral work. The great majority receive no pay but simply work for the love of God, wherever their presence is needed.

ACN supports a new place for retreat

It is important, however, for the sisters themselves to be supported in their spiritual life and strengthened in their vocation. The congregation is aiming 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. However, the community is growing and the house is needed for its original purpose which is to be used by the novices and the new vocations. The remaining rooms still available are not suitable for the needs of holding such retreats.

Therefore, the congregation has decided to build a separate building, one specifically for retreats and ongoing formation sessions. The sisters have already baked their own bricks and carted sand for the building work, and in fact a considerable part of the building is already standing! Now, they need our help to finish the work.

ACN has promised 22,500 for doors and windows, sanitation facilities, corrugated sheeting for the roof and other necessary items to help complete the project.

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