The Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception
In the United States (Holy Trinity Province)
In 1926, five Little Servant Sisters arrived by steamship in Brooklyn, NY from the Motherhouse of the Congregation in Stara Wies, district Brzozow, Poland. This was at the invitation of Father Wojciech Malusiecki, Pastor of St. Mary Parish in Reading, PA, where they opened a day nursery/kindergarten in the old convent and conducted activities among the youth of the parish. They remained there until 1938. After almost two years at an orphanage on a farm in Wilmington, Del., the community was providentially led to purchase, with ensuing fundraising, the Hampton Cutter mansion in Woodbridge, NJ in 1931. The new residence and prayer center became St. Joseph’s Home for orphaned children until 1945. Local vocations were accepted. Religious education was conducted in local parishes and still continues. During World War II, countless refugees were assisted at the convent clinic and adjacent hall. The existing Mount Carmel Home Visiting Nursing Service was begun. Functions were held and St. Joseph’s Charitable Society was active until the 1990s.
In 1958, the Holy Trinity American Province was established with St. Joseph’s Home as the Provincial House in Woodbridge, NJ. In 1987 the center of the American Province was transferred to the new Provincialate in present Cherry Hill, NJ, with a house of studies and a retreat center for the sisters, youth, and adults.
In 1940 the sisters came to a diocesan farm in present Cherry Hill and helped to establish the beginnings of St. Mary’s Nursing Home. In 1942 they purchased the property in Cherry Hill for the Novitiate, where the new Provincialate was later built.
From 1973 to 2006, the hall in Woodbridge, NJ became Strawberry Hill Senior Day Center until inevitable demolition. In 1981, the Little Servant Sisters entered a new venture in Woodbridge, NJ, with the dedication of the newly constructed St. Joseph Senior Residence, now Assisted Living. In 1992, the adjacent St. Joseph’s Nursing Center was added.
The sisters currently work in the Dioceses of Camden, Metuchen, Trenton, Palm Beach and Columbus, and in the Archdioceses of Newark and Philadelphia.
The Congregation operates the Blessed Edmund Early Childhood Education Center in Cherry Hill, NJ and St. John Paul II Preschool in Columbus, Ohio, and also St. John Retreat House in Atlantic City, NJ.
The Sisters serve in religious education in St. Thomas More and Holy Eucharist Parishes in Cherry Hill. St. John Paul II Parish in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Irvington, New Jersey. They are directors of religious education in St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish in Linden, New Jersey, Incarnation – St. James, Parish in Ewing, New Jersey, and Holy Family Parish. In addition, they work as nurses and maintain the Soup Kitchen in Columbus, Ohio, and serve as teachers at St. Vincent Ferrer School in Palm Beach, Florida. They also serve at the diocesan Sacred Heart Residence for Retired Priests and engage in pastoral ministry at Cooper Hospital in Camden, New Jersey.
Thus the dream of the Little Servant Sisters was realized through trust in Divine Providence, hard work and fundraising with the collaboration of the religious community, the Church.