Immaculate Conception Novitiate

Cherry Hill, New Jersey

1942 – To The Present

Until 1939, the American aspiring candidates to the religious life underwent a two year Novitiate formation in Poland. During World War II, it was not possible to send the candidates to Poland; therefore, permission was sought from the Holy See to open a Novitiate in the USA. The Sisters purchased land in Cherry Hill on Cropwell Road. Permission was granted by Rome and the Novitiate was opened on July 1, 1942.

As the Novitiate was close to St. Mary’s Nursing Home, the novices, besides undergoing their religious studies, also, helped at the home and on the farm. In June 1951 the new brick building to house the Novitiate was dedicated under the title of the Immaculate Conception.

At the initial arrival of additional Sisters in 1963, steadily more Sisters followed, creating the necessity for a bigger building. In 1987 the main headquarters of the Blessed Trinity Province was transferred from St. Joseph Convent in Woodbridge. The new building was dedicated on Sept. 12, 1986 as the Provincialate and Novitiate by the Most Rev. George Guilfoyle, Bishop of Camden. The previous Novitiate became a residence for elderly ladies known as the Marian Residence.

The Provincial House serves as the Novitiate and residence for the young student Sisters and as a formation center for junior professed Sisters. Some of the Sisters from the Provincial house teach religious education, conduct preparation programs for Confirmation and RCIA in St. Thomas More and St. Pius X Parishes in Cherry Hill, and in St. Adalbert and St. John Cantius Parishes in Philadelphia, Pa. The sisters conduct one-day retreats for schools. The annual community retreats and days of renewal are held on the premises. The Province supports the Motherhouse in Poland, and the Congregation’s missions in South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia and Siberia, Germany, Jamaica, Philippines and encourage mission awareness by appeals in parishes.

As a result of the General Chapter’s review of the Congregation’s faithfulness to Blessed Edmund Bojanowski’s charism to care for the little children, the needy, the sick and the elderly, the American Province undertook the building of the Blessed Edmund Center for the 3 and 4 year old children. The Blessed Edmund Center was dedicated by the Most Rev. Bishop James McHugh and was opened on December 2, 1996. Staffed by Sisters and lay teachers, it has a current enrollment of about 140 children.

 

ST MATTHEW REGIONAL SCHOOL IN NATIONAL PARK, NJ
1956 – 2011
DIOCESE OF CAMDEN

The  McCorristin Family built the school and the convent on their property and donated it to St. Matthew Parish. The Pastor Rev. Henry Blaszcynski, invited the Little Servant Sisters to teach in the school, which they continued until a few years ago, until the Diocese merged various parishes together and schools and finally St. Matthew’s was closed.  In the beginning here were about 300 children in grades 1-8.  In 1972, an addition was built for 3 classrooms and an all purpose hall used as a gym, bingo games room and a meeting hall for all other parish events. The school had a preschool for children from 3 year olds to the 8th.

Besides classroom teaching, the sisters taught religion to the public school children especially preparation for the reception of the Sacraments. An after-school program was opened to meet the needs of working parents. The Sisters served the Parish, by visiting the sick, bringing Holy Communion to “shut ins”, caring for Mass Linens and served as Eucharistic Ministers.

For special celebrations and liturgies such as Christmas, Easter, First Holy Communion and Confirmation, the Sisters decorated the School Hall since the church was not large enough to hold the influx of so many people.

As time went on, due to the merging of parishes in the Diocese, including St. Matthews; the school was finally closed in 2011 much to the reluctance of many parishioners who were so devoted for 55 years to the Sisters, the school and their children who attended.

 

ST. JOHN RETREAT HOUSE IN ATLANTIC, NJ
1961 – TO THE PRESENT
DIOCESE OF CAMDEN

In 1961, the house was acquired for retreats and vacations. It is also used for retreats for individual Sisters and lay people. One Sister had worked in the former Holy Spirit Parish as the coordinator of religious instruction for children and Spanish-speaking adults. She also worked as the religion coordinator with the Spanish-speaking population in Our Lady, Star of the Sea Parish. That same Sister visited the sick in their homes, nursing homes, ministered to prisoners and served as Eucharistic Minister. This assignment ended when new administration of the parish changed. The Sisters continue to welcome visitors who come to the home or those who wish to make private retreats and this beautiful house is used as a vacation house in the summer time for our Sisters.

 

OUR LADY OF LOURDES SCHOOL IN MILLTOWN, NJ
1973- 2013
DIOCESE OF METUCHEN

The Congregation was asked to take over the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, grades 1-8, by the Pastor Rev. Francis Dwyer. The Sisters of  Mercy could not staff the school any longer, so three of our LSIC teaching sisters came to the parish school. The Sisters also taught religion classes to the public school children especially preparing the children for the Sacraments. In 1975, the school added a Kindergarten and in 1995 added a Pre-Kindergarten for 3 and 4 year olds.

To meet the demands of working families’ needs, an after school care program was opened and was supervised by the Sisters.

The Sisters also had charge of the church and did the decorations for major feast days and holidays and took care of the church’s altar linen on a voluntary basis as well as the convent chapel where daily Masses were celebrated during the week.

As time went on families were moving out from the Parish and there began a steady decline in the enrollment and eventually the school was closed in 2013 after 40 years of faithful service to the children, youth and their families.

 

VISITATION ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN BUFFALO, NY
1954 – 1970
Diocese of Buffalo

Going back in history a little….the Sisters staffed the Visitation Elementary School for approximately 200 children and taught religion to about 100 children attending public schools. There were not enough children to keep the school open, since there were two other Catholic Schools in the same neighborhood within walking distance. We are ever so grateful for those 16 years of faithful service.

 

Collingswood, NJ
1946-1955
Diocese of Camden

On May 23, 1946, the late Bishop Bartholomew Eustace, a severe diabetic, requested Sisters to help with housekeeping in his residence. The Sisters remained there until 1955.

 

STS. PETER AND PAUL PARISH, THREE RIVERS, MASS.
1973 – 1990
Diocese of Springfield

Rev. Robert Ceckowski, Pastor of the Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, requested Sisters to perform the duties of an organist and a sacristan. Other obligations included caring for the church and altar linens, decorating the altar, organizing the choir group, and guiding the Children of Mary Society. The Sisters also taught religion to the public school children in the parish and in the neighboring parish of St. Stanislaus in West Warren, Mass. In the evening the Sisters taught Polish Language and arts and crafts classes. In 1977, the Sisters opened and staff the Early Childhood Center for 3 and 4 year old children. The Sisters remained there until 1990.

 

CARDINAL’S RESIDENCE, PHILADEPHIA, PA.
1988-1996
Archdiocese of Philadelphia

His Eminence, John Cardinal Krol of Philadelphia requested that the Congregation provide Sisters to take care of the Cardinal’s residence during his lifetime. The higher superior agreed to send three sisters. They remain there until 1996 after Cardinal Krol’s death and the assignment ended when the administration changed.

 

SACRED HEART SCHOOL IN CLIFTON HEIGHTS, PA.
1988 –
Archdiocese of Philadelphia

In 1988, Rev. Msgr. Francis Urbanowicz, Pastor of the Sacred Heart Parish, requested the Sisters to open an Early Childhood Center for 3,4,5 year old children in the previously closed parish school staffed by the Bernadine Sisters. Since this work was in the line with the spirit of the Community, the Province accepted the challenge and provided Sisters to open the Center.

The Sisters cared for about 80 children in the Center and ran the after-school care program for the children of working parents . They also taught religion classes to the public school children preparing them for the Sacraments and served as Eucharistic Ministers, visiting the sick and bringing Holy Communion to the “shut-ins”.
 

ST. HEDWIG PARISH, PHILADELPHIA, PA.
1989 -1991
Archdiocese of Philadelphia

The Sisters were asked by Rev. Thomas Skindelski, Pastor of St. Hedwig Parish and Rev. Bernard Witkowski, Pastor of St. Ladislaus Polish Parish to work in their parishes as Eucharistic Ministers bringing Holy Communion to the sick, the elderly and the “shut-in” and to visit and assist the sick in their homes. The assignment ended when the administration of the parishes changed.

ST. JOSEPH PARISH, ENSENADA, MEXICO
1991 – 2000

In 1991, the Sisters were invited to the Ensenada Diocese in Mexico to work among the poor in the slum and to do parish work in St. Joseph’s Parish.

The Spanish-speaking Sisters were sent to work there. They did pastoral work, taught children and adults religion, visited the sick and the prisoners, and prepared them for the reception of the Sacraments. A Day Care Center for children was held at the convent. The Sisters carried out the work of evangelization in various out posts and visited the sick in the villages and different groups in the slums, and assisted the priest who would come on Sundays to celebrate Mass and other Sacraments.

The lack of Spanish-speaking Sisters for replacement and the distant location were reasons for bringing the sisters back to the Province.

ST. HEDWIG SCHOOL, ELIZABETH, NJ
1991-
Archdiocese of Newark

In 1991, the Province accepted this school replacing the Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception who staffed the school since 1925. Their major Superior withdrew the Sisters from the parish school. Rev. Msgr. Edward Hajduk, Pastor asked our Community to staff the school. This parish was founded by the Polish immigrants in 1925, but later   served all nationalities.

The Sisters taught in the school and conduct the religious instructions to the public school children. The school population included 3 year olds to 8th graders of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds. The Sisters had opened an after school program for the children of working parents.

The Sisters and the lay teachers were dedicated to the upbringing and education of the whole child: psychologically, spiritually and academically. The Sisters also taught religion classes in St. Elizabeth Parish in Carteret, NJ.  Due to lack of funds and other problems, the Sisters withdrew and  were brought back to the Province.

 

ST. STANISLAUS KOSTKA SCHOOL IN SAYREVILLE, NJ
1994-1996
Diocese of Metuchen

Rev. Leon Aniszczyk, Pastor of the Parish, asked the Community to teach in the school. This is a Polish Parish with a small student population. The school was on the verge of closing after the Felician Sisters left the Parish. When the two Sisters came there, there were about 80 children from Pre-K to grade 4. The Sisters were in charge of  religious instruction to the public school children. Within the two years additional two grades 5th and 6th, were opened.  One Sister taught religion classes to the Polish children in St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish in Linden, NJ.  The Provincial withdrew the Sisters in 1996

Zgromadzenie
Sióstr Służebniczek Starowiejskich, Polska
Blessed Edmund Center
LSIC Zambia

 

St. Joseph's Senior Home

 

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Contact Details

Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception

1000 Cropwell Road,

Cherry Hill,  NJ, 08003
 

Phone: +1 856-424-1962

s.dorotab@gmail.com

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