Nazareth House is run by the Sisters of Nazareth for more than 150 years, inspired by our Foundress, Victoire Larmenier, the Sisters of Nazareth have been supporting and caring for those in need at all stages of life. We do this by living our core values of love, compassion, patience, respect, justice and hospitality. These values are shared by all who work in our Nazareth Houses, making them places of peace. Whatever your faith, gender or background, you will find a warm welcome in a Nazareth House.
The History of the Sisters of Nazareth has its roots in 1851, when Victoire Larmenier, a young sister in Rennes, France was sent to England. Six years later, she founded the first Nazareth House, in Hammersmith, London.
Early Life Victoire Larmenier, the foundress of the Sisters of Nazareth, was born on 21st July 1827 at Liffré, near Rennes, the capital of Brittany, in France. Her father was a marine carpenter and wood trader, and the family lived comfortably in a small hamlet on the fringe of the Liffré state forest. She was educated at the village school until her early teens. After the death of her father in 1838, and the re-marriage of her mother a few years later, she was sent as a boarder to the Ursuline convent at Vitré. There she received a sound secondary education with some emphasis on commercial subjects. After leaving school she worked in Liffré at her step-father’s tailoring business as a secretary and bookkeeper. Working in Rennes In 1845 Victoire left home and set up a small haberdashery business in Rennes. Her shop was located in the parish of Toussaints in the poorest part of the town. It was here that her religious vocation developed under the influence of Father Gandon, one of the curates. The Little Sisters of the Poor had recently established a house for the care of the elderly poor in Rennes, and Victoire became acquainted with them and their work. Saint Jeanne Jugan, their foundress, was in Rennes during this time and worshipped at Toussaints. Victoire was much influenced by the commitment to the poor of the Toussaints clergy and the Rennes Little Sisters of the Poor. With Fr. Gandon’s encouragement, Victoire gave up her successful little business, and entered the Paris novitiate of the Little Sisters of the Poor in February 1851.
Sister Mary Anne was elected 11th Superior General in May 2006. Together with the General Council, she continues to lead the Sisters of Nazareth towards the fulfilment of their mission in a time of rapid change and development. A Congregation wide consultation was held during the first two years of this term reanimating the central values and traditions of the Sisters of Nazareth. Expressed as Vision 2012, it sustained confidence and encouragement during a challenging period of transition in the life of the Congregation. The care of the elderly was increasingly shared with lay managers and staff as the charitable structure of the Congregation was developed to include Nazareth Care.
By 2012 there were 255 Sisters, in 36 communities, and 37 Nazareth Houses. Worldwide, 2,413 elderly residents were cared for, including 179 priests, religious sisters and brothers. There were 1,614 children in schools and day nurseries, and 76 children in residential care in South Africa. A further 900 or so children are touched by the schools at Hammersmith and Geraldon in which Sisters of Nazareth hold influential positions. Sustaining this degree of pastoral and social care in the fundamental spirit of the Nazareth charism and tradition has depended above all on the faithfulness of the Sisters with the help of their lay supporters.
Sr. Mary Anne was re-elected for a second six year term as Superior General in 2012.
We endeavour to live out the Gospel and our Core Values in everything we do. These values give the Nazareth Houses and all our ministries their special spirit. See how we reflect those core values in action.
“Let your love for each other be real and from the heart.”
1 Peter 1:22
Love motivated the care provided to the old and the young by Victoire Larmenier.Unselfish concern for the good of others, shown through patience, kindness, trust, hope, endurance, truth, and a strong affection.
Love in Action
Novices at Nazareth House, Hammersmith demonstrate the continuing love of the Sisters for all the people in their care.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Justice for they shall be satisfied.”
Victoire Larmenier was fair and impartial with everyone, even when people or issues were difficult or challenging. We uphold what is fair, decent and right. We appreciate each person, respecting his/her rights in a balanced and fair manner.
Justice In Action
Nazareth House Cape Town gives everyone in its care the best possible care they need regardless of age, background or circumstances.
“I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
Victoire Larmenier welcomed everyone in a spirit of friendship and acceptance. We welcome and receive all into a warm, friendly and open atmosphere.
Hospitality In Action
Nazareth House Cardiff welcomed people from other residential care homes in Cardiff to a conference about services for older people. Volunteers and staff at Nazareth House arranged a tea party for residents and visitors, and made some very special cakes.
“What a lovely day Friday was! And I'm not only referring to that wonderful weather with which we were blessed. It was so good to see all the people from other care homes enjoying our beautiful grounds. The scones were so light in spite of a painful tooth extraction the day before, I could eat and enjoy them easily - and the pretty cups and saucers...There was such a happy atmosphere. Thank you very much and all those who helped at The Tea Party for all your hard work and the well thought preparation beforehand - I thought it was a lovely idea.”
A resident at Nazareth House Cardiff
“As often as you did it to one of these...you did it to me.”
Victoire Larmenier showed consideration, appreciation and regard for the rights, values, and beliefs of all. The unique dignity of each person is held in high esteem and with special consideration. Without exception, we show thoughtfulness courtesy, and care.
Respect in Action
Nazareth House Ballaret respects particular needs of the men living at the House by providing a men's shed where the residents can enjoy camaraderie, a sense of purpose, creativity and accomplishment from working on projects from nesting boxes, to dolls' cots and clothes horses. It changes the lives of men who take part say staff at the House.
“They all look forward to it; it’s the highlight of their week.”
“Be compassionate as your heavenly Father is compassionate.”
Victoire Larmenier showed compassion by seeking to relieve the existing suffering of those with whom she came in contact with. Being open and attentive to the whole person, spiritually, physically, and emotionally, we show empathy for the suffering of others and try to relieve that suffering.
Compassion In Action:
It is the Nazareth Way . . .
Residents of Nazareth House and children from Nazareth School San Diego model, after our heavenly Father, numerous acts of compassion. We are particularly blessed to have such a wonderful and unique partnership between Nazareth House and Nazareth School as both seniors and children are provided with endless opportunities to engage in compassionate acts during their visits together. A smile, a kind word, a listening ear, a hug or laugh, a joint adventure together are just some of the simplest treasures this reciprocal relationship and wonderful partnership in life affords. Compassion truly radiates throughout these very enriching and meaningful visits with residents and children from Nazareth School as well other intergenerational opportunities that are provided in abundance at Nazareth House.
“When the children arrive, the seniors’ faces light up instantly and great joy and happiness fills their tender loving hearts. It is a very positive and uplifting experience for all who are involved.”
“Blessed are the gentle for they shall possess the earth.”
Victoire Larmenier was an example of patience to all who knew her. She encountered and over came amazing difficulties. In all circumstances we persevere calmly with understanding and endurance.
Patience In Action
The patience and understanding of experienced and loyal staff at Nazareth House Belfast promote continuity and provision of high quality, holistic care in a caring and calm environment.
“I just want to say you have an excellent team of Nurses. They are so pleasant and helpful - nothing is too much trouble for them. The Staff are unfailingly courteous, competent, diligent and informed in their attention to Dad.”
We, the Sisters of Nazareth, aim to share the love of God through our ministries of care and education and our openness to respond to the needs of the times.
"Whatsoever you do to the least of my people you do to me."
Words of Jesus Christ (Matt.25:40)
Help Turn Tears Into Smiles
Welcome to this section of our web site. We are here to give you all the information you need to decide if you want to join the Sisters of Nazareth. Please use these pages to explore our life and don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions.
You can find the nearest Vocations Director who will assist you by using the links on the left or visit the Regional pages to find out what is going on closest you.
Meanwhile please let our current novices introduce you to life here at the Novitiate in Hammersmith.
From the Novices
On October 1, 2012, Feast of Saint Therese Lisieux, we were received as Novices into the Congregation of the Sisters of Nazareth. On that day we were welcomed into the community and given our religious names, founded on our baptismal names,
Sister Melissa Anne,
Sister Bongani Ester,
Sister Noeline and
Sister Sipona Mary Agnes.
Each one of us was attracted to the Sisters of Nazareth for a different reason; caring for the elderly, teaching children, helping people in need, watching the Sisters at work and living in community together.
Deepening our relationship with God
Over the next two years we will be deepening our relationship with God and become more aware of ourselves and our new way of life through prayer and study. We will learn more about the Congregation and Religious Life. During these two years we are accompanied by our Novice Director who guides and supports us as we discern our personal vocational journey.
As novices we live in the novitiate and this allows us to experience community living, the value of it and even its challenges. We pray as a community as well as having time for personal prayer.
The structure of our day
We are currently in our first year; this is known as the canonical or spiritual year. So far we have started studying the Rule of St Augustine and Constitutions of the Congregation which are Gospel based. We have looked at the history of the Congregation and are now learning about the vows of chastity, poverty, obedience and the mission of the Church.
Our day is structured so that there is a balance, with the opportunity for prayer, study and relaxation. The day begins with Morning Prayer followed by Mass, then breakfast. We have some personal time for prayer before class which takes various forms. We have the opportunity to attend external courses. For relaxation we might play sports, games or watch television. Sometimes we cook, bake, go for a walk, go to the cinema or have quiet time at home. We laugh a lot!
We are all different
We are from different parts of the world and have brought with us into the Congregation various gifts and talents together with our own personalities. We love, value, respect and encourage one another to be the best that we can be in loving God and serving those we minister to. During our second year we will spend more time in the various ministries of the congregation and have the opportunity to visit and live in some of the other communities while continuing our personal discernment. We are looking forward to that.
Please pray for us.
If you share our values and would like to work with us please see what jobs are available throughout the global community. All vacancies at the global level will be shown through the link on the left.
We are also featuring a range of vacancies in the Irish Region
You can also see if there are any vacancies near you on our Regional pages