IBVM Kenya

July 29, 2022

An invitation to come to Kenya to open a school in Nairobi for the children of the settlers was accepted. The Superior General of Loreto at the time, Mother Raphael Deasy, responding to the request, decided to send a little band of six sisters to begin the new mission.  Mother Borgia O Shaughnessy, an Irish missionary working in Australia, was appointed as leader of the group. She was asked to pass by India and collect four other Loreto Sisters. The mission was placed under the Indian Province and later, in 1931, placed under the South African Province, until eventually becoming a Province in its own right.

The six foundresses arrived at Kilindini Harbour in Mombasa on October 18, 1921. They were welcomed warmly by two Holy Ghost priests before they continued the long train journey to Nairobi on the same day. Preparations were made at once to open a school. There were seventeen (17) pupils when school started on November 11, 1921. The six sisters were: Borgia O’Shaughnessy, Dolores Stafford, Raphael Gordon, Catherine Beauvais, Francis Teresa Murphy and Sixtus Naughton

Currently, the Eastern Africa Province has 90 Sisters and 9 Novices (as at February, 2021). These are from Ireland, England, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, and Ethiopia.

The Eastern Africa Province gave birth to 24 foundations. Sadly, due to a variety of changes and lack of personnel, some foundations had to be closed or given to government or respective dioceses.

The sisters work in different ministries: mainly in various schools, but also in social work and advocacy for women, working against female genital mutilation or offering social-economic empowerment of the vulnerable people in urban informal settlements.

In the Loreto School in Limuru studied some of the most prominent women in Kenyan history, such as Wangari Maathai, who became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2013, on the 50th anniversary of Kenyan independence, the sisters received a special award from the President in recognition of their services to education.

To know more, visit: http://www.ibvmeasternafrica.co.ke/

Loeto sisters in Kenya.
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