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Sisters of saint Joseph of Mombasa

Inspired by the gift of the Holy Spirit to fulfil their desire and zeal to serve God, our foundresses wanted to live an authentic religious life and participate in the work of evangelisation at a time when even the Church was convinced that African women could not commit themselves to a life of consecration.

The story

Father Michael Finnegan, mission superior and chaplain, saw the resolve of four young indigenous women, namely:

  1. Margaret Njeri
  2. Ann Nyambura
  3. Rosalia Nyambura
  4. Cecilia Tatu.

He encouraged them in their desire and they later became Sister Mary Njeri, Sister Teresa Nyambura, Sister Joseph Nyambura and Sister Martha Tatu.

As an institute we honour these four sisters as our Foundresses who were inspired and formed by the Sisters of the Precious Blood. The Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa was founded in Bura in 1929 and apostolically erected as an Institute of diocesan right on 4 January 1938 at the request of Bishop John Hefferman Cssp, Apostolic Vicar of the then Vicariate of Zanzibar, Mombasa and Nairobi. He wrote to the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith proposing to have a new indigenous women’s institute to assist the natives and for the development of the local Church through evangelisation in Mombasa, Kenya and beyond.

On 8 December 1941, the first novices made their first vows.

The Institute was named St Joseph in honour of the Saint who was the patron saint of the Vicariate of Zanzibar. Since its inception, the Institute of the Sisters of St Joseph of Mombasa has gradually grown, spread widely and is currently in the process of being granted pontifical right.

The charisma

Our charism is to bear witness in simplicity to the saving and evangelising mission of Jesus Christ among the people with whom we live and interact in response to the signs of the times.  Our lifestyle aspires to become a sign of God’s tenderness and a living witness to Christ.  Our mission is to witness Christ to the world in simplicity, prayer and service to God through His people, engaging in various apostolates that enhance holistic development. We achieve this by being guided by the Spirit of God.

The goal

Our aim is to evangelise God’s people in simplicity and humble obedience to God’s will and to raise the standard of living of the human person in an integral manner. As we imitate our patron Saint Joseph, we are called to serve the people and mission of Jesus in obedience, silence, humility and hard work.


Our rootedness in the life and works of St. Joseph makes us serve God’s people by embodying the spirit of St. Joseph enlightened by his virtues and submitting to his Patronage.


Sister Joan Chemeli Langat

Sisters of St. Joseph of Mombasa





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