Vocations Profile: Sisters of Nazareth’s Service is Ageless


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SAN DIEGO  — The Sisters of Nazareth have a long history of caring for both young and old.

That history began with Victoire Larmenier, then a novice with the Little Sisters of the Poor in Rennes, France. She was sent to London in 1851 as part of a small group of religious sisters, who were entrusted with starting a new foundation.

The sisters opened the first Nazareth House in Hammersmith, England, in late 1857, where they served the elderly poor. By that time, they also had begun caring for poor and infirm children.

With the permission of the Holy See, the Hammersmith community separated from the Little Sisters of the Poor in 1861 and, three years later, was recognized as a new religious community called the Sisters of Nazareth. Larmenier, who would take the name Mother St. Basil, is remembered as its foundress and first superior general.

There are currently just over 200 Sisters of Nazareth worldwide. They minister to the elderly at Nazareth Houses, Catholic assisted living communities that welcome people of all faiths; there are 37 worldwide, including one in San Diego. They are also engaged in the education of children, and also in caring for abandoned children in Africa.

In 2024, the Sisters of Nazareth will celebrate the 100th anniversary of their arrival in the United States. They first settled in San Diego, where they built and operated an orphanage at the site of Mission San Diego de Alcala. In the mid-1970s, the orphanage transitioned into Nazareth School, a private Catholic elementary school.

Five Sisters of Nazareth are still in active ministry in the San Diego Diocese, with another three now retired and in assisted living at Nazareth House.

The Sisters of Nazareth
Founded: 1864 in Hammersmith, England

Active in San Diego region: 98 years {???? – It seems like a lot of the groups are “almost 100 year in San Diego”; perhaps we want to give exact numbers for each of them, so that not all of them are being rounded to “almost 100”?}

Founded: 1864 in Hammersmith, England

American Superior of the Nazareth Houses: Sister Rose Hoye, CSN

Active in San Diego region: 98 years

Website: sistersofnazareth.com

Vocation information: Email srcelestina.faletoi@sistersofnazareth.us or call (559) 977-0359

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