About Us

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.

London Foundation

After a few months in the novitiate, Sister Basile Marie Larmenier was sent from Rennes among a small party of four Sisters to make a foundation in London. This was in response to a request from the London branch of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, strongly supported by Cardinal Wiseman, first Archbishop of Westminster. Within a few months she was appointed Superior. The little foundation community, despite its lack of resources, gradually gathered poor old people into its care.

First Nazareth House

After several moves in central and west London, the Sisters eventually managed to build the first Nazareth House at Hammersmith, which opened in October 1857. By this time, the Sisters were also caring for poor and infirm children, greatly supported by Father Claude Bernin, a former Marist, who was their ecclesiastical superior during these years.

Sisters of Nazareth

In 1861, after protracted and difficult negotiations, the Holy See allowed the Hammersmith community to separate from the Little Sisters of the Poor as an independent pious society of laywomen. After a further three years the London sisters were recognised by the Roman authorities as a diocesan religious community under the title Sisters of Nazareth. Victoire Larmenier, now with the religious name Sister St. Basil, was among the first group to make their profession in April 1864. Before she died in June 1878, Victoire Larmenier had founded eight other Nazareth Houses in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, one of which remained with the Little Sisters of the Poor in 1861.

South Africa

In 1881, a small group of Sisters arrived in South Africa at the invitation of the Bishop of Cape Town. Their mission was to care for indigent elderly and orphaned children. Today, more than a hundred years later, Nazareth House South Africa still provides a caring and compassionate haven for. the most vulnerable members of our society. Assisted by lay administrative and nursing staff, and a small army of volunteers, the Sisters of Nazareth continue to uphold the core values of Victoire Larmenier, which are as timeless as humanity: justice, patience, love, respect, compassion and hospitality. Throughout Nazareth House Cape Town's rich history there have been numerous visitors including politicians, human rights activists and well known celebrities. Some of the highlights included visits from Nelson Mandela in 1998 and Tony Blair in 1999.

By clicking on the link, you can buy online the "Nazareth House in Southern Africa - A Short History" by Sister Teresa Madson. The royalties will go to Nazareth House.

Buy The Book


The Superior General and General Councillors oversee the work of the Congregation, and are accountable to the Chapter for their stewardship of the Congregation's mission, ministries and assets between each General Chapter.
The Superior General and her General Council are elected by the General Chapter, held every six years. The 26th General Chapter took place in June 2018. Sister Brenda McCall was elected as Superior General. The four Councillors elected were Sister Dominica Cooper, Sister Teresa Walsh, Sister Veronica Kealey and Sister Hannah Dwyer.

The business plan for the next six years at Congregation, Region and House levels will be reviewed, updated and developed to take the Congregation forward to the next Chapter in 2024.

l-r Sr Hannah Dwyer, Sr Teresa Walsh, Sr Brenda McCall, Sr Dominica Cooper, Sr Veronica Kealey

Core Values

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.”
Matthew 5:3

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.”
Matthew 25:37

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.”
Matt 23:40

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.”
Luke 6:36

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.”
Matthew 5:5

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.”

Mission Statement

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)

Becoming a Sister

Help Turn Tears Into Smiles

Contact Us

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.

Work For Us

What People Say Working 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

Dorothy Eiserman

What a wonderful visit of the children's home - they are all loved and happy - all the people at Nazareth house are angels!

Fiona Byrns

The well organised facility made it so much easier to transition my parents from normal home life to frail care. A huge thank you to Micheal De Vos.