Religious Congregations and Lay Associations

The diocesan mission in the world is made complete by the efforts and work done by religious congregations and lay associations. Through their charisms, they complement the diocese and each other in areas of health, education, social welfare and charity. There are various religious congregations for nuns and a lay association.

  1. Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Founded in 1925 by Bishop Louis Auneau – a French Montfort missionary, the charism of Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary is to lead a holy life deepened in humility of serving God. The sisters embrace holy poverty to emulate Mary in sharing and living together in community. Their spirituality is simplicity of Mary the handmaid of the Lord who accepted to do the will of God by becoming the mother of God.

Servants of Blessed Virgin Mary

Their headquarters is Mary View at NGuludi, Chiradzulu district. Their first profession of the congregation took place in 1928. Currently they have three communities St Felix in Chikwawa, ST Martin in Molere and St Matthew in Nchalo.

2. Sisters of Divine Providence

The congregation started on 3rd November 1842 in Munster Germany. It was founded by Fr Edward Michelle’s, a diocesan priest from Germany. The sisters came to Malawi on 6th July 1960 and settled at Muona in Nsanje, where it remains their mother house. In Malawi, the regional house is in Chinyonga. Their charism is “helping the poor both physically and spiritually so that they may experience God’s love”.

Sisters of Divine Mercy

In the diocese they have community in Muona, Trinity community and mother Virginia formation house. They celebrate their feast on Holy Trinity Sunday

3. Religious Sisters of Charity

It was founded in Ireland in 1815 by Mary Akenhead. The congregation came to Malawi in October 2011 and set up a community at Konzalendo in Chikwawa diocese. Their motto is “caritas urget nos”: The love of Christ urges us on. The founding grace for the congregation is the story of Lazarus in the scriptures, whose sermon moved the founder to give her life in service of the poor.

Sisters of the congregation take a fourth vow of charity. Their international headquarters is in Dublin Ireland. Apart from Malawi, they also serve in Nigeria, Ireland, England,Scotland and Carlifonia.

4. Mary Consoler of the Afflicted Lay Women Association

The association was founded in 1999 by Late Bishop Felix Mkhori. There were two pioneer girls who were accompanied by Teresian sisters. These girls took their final vows in 2011.

Their first community as an association was in Nsanje parish. From 2013 to 2019, these pioneer sisters were assisted by Good Shepherd sisters from Chipata Zambia in recruiting and formation of girls to sisterhood.

Their charism is “Compassion for the poor”

They have community houses at St Lawrence girls Secondary School, Nchalo, the Bishop’s residential area where there is a Postulate, and Bangula, a novitiate.

SISTERS OF OUR LADY OF AMERSFOORT

Also known as Sisters of Our lady, Sisters of our lady of Amersfoort were Founded on 29th July 1822 in Amersfoort in Holland. The founders were motivated by zeal to serve young people and poor children living under oppression through education.

Founders were

Fr Matthias Wolff, SJ

Maria Stichters – Sr Matthia

Maria van Werkhoven – SrIgnace

Martha Pijpers – Sr Martha

Purpose of congregation is for the glory of God, Sanctification of members and the education of young people and the poor.

They are found in Netherlands, Indonesia, Philippines and Malawi.

In Malawi, they have communities at Stella Maris in Blantyre, Jacaranda in Blantyre, St Julie Convent in Lilongwe and Bangula convent in Chikwawa diocese.

The sisters arrived in Chikwawa diocese in February 1970 at the invitation of bishop Vrouemen and devoted themselves to serve the needs of poor people at Bangula and surrounding areas.

Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate (SMMI) Sisters

The Institute of Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate (SMMI), a missionary branch, was born from the society of the Daughters of St. Francis de Sales. The society of the Daughters of St. Francis de Sales was founded in Paris on 15 October 1872, by Fr. Henri Chaumont and Madam Carre de Malberg, to live the Gospel and to spread its spirit in the world.

This Society was founded for lay women: married, widows or unmarried, etc…, to live the Gospel in their milieu according to the Spirituality of St Francis de Sales.

This Society spread very rapidly in France and other European countries.

Fr Henri Chaumont himself wanted to be a missionary but he could not realize it due to his ill health.

The missionary branch was formed in 1885, setting out its first missionary journey to India in 1889 led by the pioneers Mother Marie Gertrude, Mother Marie de Kostka, Sr. Magdalene and Sr. Joseph.

Their Apostolic and Spiritual life inspired some Bishops to invite CMMI in their Dioceses.

In 1889, Bishop Alexis Riccaz, Bishop of Nagpur, India, requested for CMMI in his diocese. On 12 October 1889, four Catechist Missionaries, under the leadership of Mother Marie Gertrude, embarked from Marseille, France, to India to the Mission of Nagpur.

They began their ministries offering shelter to the orphans & Widows in our Asylum, Family visits, Caring for Sick, Lepers, Blind & TB Patients and imparting knowledge to the poor children.

The Religious Missionary Branch of the society of the Daughters of St. Francis de Sales became autonomous on 11th November 1968. It was raised to the status of an “Apostolic Religious Institute of Pontifical Right”, yet continues to remain as part of the Salesian Society. Open, by the Founders to all countries, all races, all social classes.

The Institute with the Sisters is an international organization and sisters live in multicultural communities in harmony and solidarity, thereby witnessing to the vitality and the diversity of the Church. 

Charism
The Charism of Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate is to live the Gospel and to spread its spirit as religious:
a. Salesian:

Led by the Holy Spirit, they follow Jesus, meek and humble of heart, as did Saint Francis de Sales, Doctor of Love.

b. Missionaries:

Animated by the Holy Spirit, sent like the apostles in the universal mission of the Church for the evangelization of the poor, with a special option for women in order to make them apostles of the Gospel, sharing Salesian Spirituality. It is carried out by being faithful to the Pope and to the teaching of the Magisterium, and being at the service of the Local church, especially through catechesis in places where evangelization has recently begun / where it is needed. 

c. Marian:

SMMI live the motto “Be Mary” given by the founder with the mission of making the Blessed Mary known and loved. 

The congregation was announced on 5th November 2021, and its first members arrived on 12th December 2021 and were welcomed in the diocese on 18th December 2021. They have one community at St Mathews Nchalo Parish where they are running Montfort Hospital.

Founded in 1925 by Bishop Louis Auneau – a French Montfort missionary, the charism of Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary is to lead a holy life deepened in humility of serving God. The sisters embrace holy poverty to emulate Mary in sharing and living together in community. Their spirituality is simplicity of Mary the handmaid of the Lord who accepted to do the will of God by becoming the mother of God. Their headquarters is Mary View at NGuludi, Chiradzulu district. Their first profession of the congregation took place in 1928. Currently they have three communities St Felix in Chikwawa, ST Martin in Molere and St Matthew in Nchalo.

2. Sisters of Divine Mercy