Presence in the world






Lesotho and Republic of South Africa – Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus Province


In an attempt to respond to the essential needs of their countrymen, our Basotho sisters began their mission by offering the traditional ministries of the Congregation.  They give of themselves, body and soul, in the areas of education, health care and social services.


In education, they are present from the preschool level to the college level.  They are responsible for a preschool in the capital, Maseru, for four preschools in rural areas, for a primary boarding school in Pontmain and for three secondary boarding schools.  To maintain all these educational institutions, the sisters must become qualified in their respective area of specialisation in the universities or in the colleges.


Health care is provided in two hospitals, in Paray and in Seboche, locations where there are many physicians and other health care professionals.  A range of services and of specialized clinics is available to patients: prevention, direct care, out-patient and mobile clinics, screening and treatment which include counselling for persons living with HIV-AIDS.  In addition, six clinics or small health care centres available in rural areas complete the health care network offered by the sisters.  In Paray, the hospital includes a nursing school which provides an education program for both registered practical nurses and registered nurses.

In the area of Social Services, an orphanage named “Bytown Center” was opened in Maseru to provide a welcoming home to youth who have been orphaned mostly by the pandemic of AIDS which is ravaging this country.  The sisters are also managing a small refuge in Pontmain.  It houses approximately fifteen elderly women who have been abandoned by their family.


If the majority of the sisters are dedicated to our congregational ministries, others teach in parochial schools or are dedicated to parish ministry or to a variety of services which require the presence of the sisters.


The mission can count on the services provided by our sisters, given the generous commitment of the young women of these countries who will ensure a competent and dedicated succession.


For more information about the ministries offered by our sisters of Lesotho and of the Republic of South Africa, please visit the web site.




Statistics 2016


Dioceses Houses Sisters
Leribe 9 70
Maseru 4 21


Republic of South Africa

Dioceses House Sisters
Pretoria 1 4


Foundation- Lesotho 1931


Subsequent to a pressing invitation to consider missionary Church service from Pope Pius XI, Father Philémon Bourassa, then Provincial Superior of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, made an official request to Mother Saint Bruno, General Superior.  He expressed his hope of obtaining the services of teaching sisters who could provide an education to future graduates and to take the responsibility for works of charity such as a hospital or a dispensary.



This request for a foundation challenges the Congregation which is happy to respond and to bring Mother Bruyère’s works of charity to Africa.  We send five sisters who travel from Canada toward Durban by ship and arrive in Pontmain, in Basutoland (known as Lesotho today).  Sisters Louis-Gérard, Paul-Eugène, Marie-des-Anges, Marie-de-Jésus and Jeanne-Emmanuel are the founders.



A Novitiate opens in Pontmain.  Two years later, six novices pronounce their temporary vows.  Despite the many challenges faced, especially the language, primary and secondary schools, boarding schools, courses in industrial agriculture, gardening, sewing, dispensaries and hospitals are gradually created to meet the needs of the population.



The sisters become established in Pitseng (1931), in Butha Buthe (1934), in Paray (1936), in Roma (1940), in Seboche (1947), in Leribe (1949), in M’A Mohau (1956-2009) and in Mositi (1957-1972).



All the establishments are showing a promising future.  Following one of her visits, Mother Saint-Paul, General Superior, wrote: 

« This experience of hearty understanding and catholicity has  endowed the  Congregation with the  strong support and resources of seventy-three  African Sisters able to take on the evangelization of their own people. »

Sister Paul-Émile, The Grey Nuns of the Cross of Ottawa, 1876-1967, p.469



Although still at the stage of poverty and of developing experience,  D’Youville Junior Secondary School offers an education program.  Nine of the twelve students who wrote the Department of Education Exams succeeded.



Opening of Our Lady of Providence Hospital in Saint-Charles parish, located in Seboche.



In Seboche, the dispensary continues to develop and grows into a hospital.  The convent where the sisters reside is annexed to the hospital complex.



Basutoland is henceforth called Lesotho. It is a small independent State on the territory of the Republic of South Africa.



Saint Denis Mission in Leribe opens its doors on February 20, 1967.  The sisters minister in the area of education.  This convent closed in 1989.



Opening of the Pitseng Secondary School in Pontmain.  In order to ensure the quality of the education provided, the Congregation Leadership Team approves formation programs for indigenous sisters both abroad and within Lesotho. 



A year of serious drought.  Humans and animals swoon along the roads.   In Pontmain, the ten inches of water in the well paint a very serious picture…the worst is yet to come.  The mission included approximately eight hundred people: priests, sisters, boarders, students and hundreds of village people who usually seek their supply of water.  Water is rationed but never runs out.  Throughout the period of drought, the water level in the well never decreased, not even by a single inch.



Blessing and opening of the new Marguerite d’Youville Convent in Maseru, capital of Lesotho.  Pre-school education is the ministry of priority.



Opening of a Nursing School in Paray Hospital (1939) thanks to the assistance provided by the Private Health Association of Lesotho.  The Congregation is accountable for this school.



In April, the new Louis Gerard Convent in Likhakeng Ha Mahlomola welcomes a group of sisters who inaugurate a small health centre.  At a later date, this Convent will accommodate the Pre-Novitiate.

In November, the new Provincial House located in Leribe and dedicated to Divine Providence welcomes the members of the Provincial Leadership Team as well as sisters who are involved in various apostolates.



Saint Claire Convent of Sekamaneng, located in Maseru, opens its doors.  A small group of sisters minister in the orphanage which is adjacent to the convent.



Opening of the new Paballong Ea Molimo infirmary in Leribe.  It is dedicated to Divine Providence and offers care to the sisters who are aging and who are ill.

Major renovations of Saint-Charles High School, in Butha-Buthe.



Major renovations of the Pitseng Secondary School and construction of a boarding school where the high school students from Pontmain now reside.




Foundation- Republic of South Africa 1952


Four sisters from Lesotho go to the Republic of South Africa to found the first mission in the Province of Natal.  Despite the fact the group is small, the sisters become involved in education, care of the sick and in parish ministry. 



Four sisters from Lesotho go to the Republic of South Africa to found the first mission in the Province of Natal.  Despite the fact the group is small, the sisters become involved in education, care of the sick and in parish ministry. 



During the 60’s and 70’s, the Congregation opened several houses.



Opening of Marguerite d’Youville Convent in Kaalfonteine.  The Sisters are involved in social work and teach religion to children.  The district is not Catholic.



In Transvaal, the Mother Bruyère Mission of Atteridgeville continues the ministry of education, teaching catechism and providing assistance to the poor.



Opening of a Postulate and a Novitiate at Saint-Michael Convent in  DeWidlt.



A great separatist movement, apartheid, begins in the county.  The Congregation closes the convent in De Wildt and opens Our Lady of Lourdes Convent in Denilton, Transvaal.



Saint Cecilia Convent, located in the Saint Elisabeth of Mamaneng Catholic mission of Marblehall is very busy.  The sisters participate in the following ministries: nursing in a clinic outside the Congregation, teaching kindergarten and pastoral ministry.



Opening of Saint Theresa Clinic and Most Holy Trinity Convent at Saint Theresa Mission, in Zastron, located in Aliwal North Diocese.



Today, four sisters continue their involvement in parish ministry in the Diocese of Pretoria.  One sister is from Lesotho and three are originally from the Republic of South Africa.


For more information, consult :

Parent, Huguette, sco, One Form of Inculturation of the Charism of Charity in the Church, Élisabeth Bruyère (1818-1845-1876-1980) 

Translated by Pauline Leblanc, sco