Little Children of Our Blessed Lady Sisters History
The Little Children of Our Blessed Lady Sisters (LCBL) is a Diocesan, a religious institute of Diocesan Right, whose mother house is in the Archdiocese of Harare, Zimbabwe, with members making a vowed commitment to the service of God and society. We are an indigenous congregation founded by Archbishop Aston Ignatius Chichester SJ, in 1932.
In fulfilment of the Founder's vision the sisters witness Christ through personal holiness and service to the needy through diversified apostolates with special concern for women and children.
Right from its inception, the founder envisaged that the sisters evangelise and raise the livelihood of the people through Education, Health Care, Pastoral Work, Social Work and remain to the Spirit and respond to the signs of time We are also responding to the needs of people with disabilities and those infected and affected with HIV/AIDS.
The LCBL Sisters work in four dioceses namely; Harare, Chinhoyi, Gokwe and Masvingo. We live in communities, committing ourselves to nurturing family spirit rooted in effective and transforming prayer. The Congregation has a total of 198 sisters living in 45 houses (Harare 28, Chinhoyi 13, Gokwe 4 Masvingo 1) and 23 sisters who have retired are housed at Chichester Convent. The average age of sisters on retirement is 82 years. There are 20 young ladies in formation i.e. novitiate and pre-novitiate. A total of 108 sisters have already gone to the Lord.
We have participated and supported the local church in the establishment and growth of mission schools and hospitals in remote rural areas like Mary Mount Mission, Chitsungo and Chireya. Most of the active sisters are working in the rural areas in the field of education, health and social and pastoral work. Some of our sisters are involved in administrative work in most of the Catholic Church institutions, both in rural and urban areas.
In line with our Charism which demands that we continually examine our fidelity to the Lord, our docility to the Spirit, that we carefully discern the signs of the times in today’s needs for thinking with the Church (LCBL Constitution C5 No. 4) we explore new means of evangelization through training and reflection in order to be prophetic witnesses of the risen Christ (LCBL Vision Statement 2013 – 2019) in the spirit of cheerful simplicity and humble charity, qualities dear to our founder because they are dear to Christ and his mother whose children we are(LCBL Constitution C5 No. 1) .
We wish to respond to the message and papal exhortation on new evangelization so that we can journey together with the people of God bringing the message of hope of the Risen Lord (Africa Synod, 1994; Pope John Paul 11)