Blessed Edmund Bojanowski realized that he could not do his work without help, and after prayer and consultation with his religious advisors, decided to develop a religious institute in which he would foster a group of sisters to support his work. He founded this congregation, the Little Servant Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary Conceived Immaculate on May 3, 1850. The name Little Servants was chosen to reflect his belief that love expressed in the service of one’s neighbor is the fundamental element of Christian vocation. The Sisters’ first work was the education and care of young children and then extended to older children, youth, the sick, the elderly and others in need. From the original rural day nursery schools for children and healthcare among the sick, the Congregation spread to the towns of Poland, caring for children in homes, educating youth in schools, caring for the sick and the elderly in hospitals and residences. The sisters were established in the religious life and service of love, and eventually became a Papal congregation.
Edmund created a unique model of sisters committed to works of charity. He recruited young women from the villages where they would be needed to educate and care for children and the sick. The women acquired the skills and education, which enabled them to work among the poor and those in need.
From their origins, the Jesuit Fathers supported the Little Servant Sisters in their formation. Edmund Bojanowski entrusted the spiritual care of his first group of sisters in Northern Poland to the Jesuit Father Theophilus Baczynski. Later, Father Baczynski helped with the establishment of the sisters in Galicia, Southern Poland. Edmund served as an encouraging and disciplined “father” to the sisters, frequently visiting his spiritual daughters, praying with them, directing and observing their progress and writing the original rules. The order expanded and the Sisters established schools, hospitals, hostels and homes and they became known for their great works of charity and commitment to the children, the poor, the ill and the elderly.
The Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception consists of a federation of four religious branches, originating from the 19 th century political partition of Poland. Motherhouses were established in different regions of Poland, which continue today – Lubon, Stara Wies, Debica and Wroclaw. The federation has some 3,300 members with religious houses in Europe, Africa and North and South America. The Little Servant Sisters of Stara Wies, with 1,225 members, currently serve in Poland, the United States, Italy, Germany, Russia,with 284 members in 9 missions in Moldova, Ukraine, Russian Eastern Siberia, Zambia, South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania, Philippines & Jamaica.
The Little Sister Servants arrived in the United States in 1926 and have been working here in apostolates committed to children, the poor, the sick, the elderly and prayer ministry. Their American Provincialate and Novitiate is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. They own and operate the Blessed Edmund Early Childhood Education Center in Cherry Hill and work in parishes as religious educators, pastoral workers and teachers in parochial schools in the Dioceses of Camden, Metuchen, Trenton, Palm Beach and Columbus, the Archdiocese of Newark and Philadelphia and in oversea missions including in the Dioceses of Montego Bay, Jamaica & Aliminos, Philippines.
They own and operate St. Joseph’s Senior Home - Assisted Living and Nursing Center, and work in Mt. Carmel Home Visiting Nursing Guild in Woodbridge, New Jersey, and in pastoral ministry in Cooper Hospital in Camden. They serve at St. Mary’s Center for Rehabilitation & Health Care, St. Mary’s Villa for Independent & Retirement Living and Sacred Heart Home for Retired Priests in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. They also own and operate St. John’s Retreat House in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Little Servant Sisters of the Immaculate Conception
1000 Cropwell Road,
Cherry Hill, NJ, 08003
Phone: +1 856-424-1962
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