The Little Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi of the Third Order Regular is an indigenous Institute of Diocesan Right. It was founded on 1st May, 1923 in Uganda by the late Mother Mary Kevin Kearney, a Franciscan Missionary. The Institute of the Little Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi is an inter-ethnic organization with ) more that 50 ethnic groups. There are currently 698 professed members and 50 in the Novitiate program me in the three Novitiates and one Postulate. The Institute’s Mother house and the first Novitiate are at Nkokonjeru in the Diocese of Lugazi, Uganda and the Generalate was moved to Jinja Diocese in 1997 to easy accessibility. We have the second Novitiate in Nakuru Diocese, Kenya and third in Same Diocese, Tanzania. Following the mandate of the General Chapter of 2010, we now have one Postulate in Pallisa, Uganda we bring in all the Candidates from the three Countries for their initial training.
To foster peace, love and unity, the English Language is the medium of communication.
The era of Mother Kevin’s missionary work came face to face with various challenges to mention but a few. The greatest of all these was the cultural gendering of the African girl. She was held in subjugation and servility. Mother Kevin aware of this was inspired by the Holy Spirit to found an indigenous Institute to uplift the status of fellow women. Therefore, the vision and charism of Mother Kevin for the Little Sisters was that, they be well educated women, who are abreast with the signs of the time and who are dedicated to the promotion and empowerment of the poor and underprivileged particularly women. They do this by being missionary to their own people and later extend their vision, mission and charism to other parts of the world.
The aim of the Institute is to love and serve God in the Church and in the world today. The Sisters’ vocation is to contemplate God in prayer and share the fruits of this contemplation through the Apostolates, giving special attention to the needs of all those who are physically, spiritual, psychologically, mentally and materially poor
Charism of the LSOSF:
“To bring Neweness and fullness of Christ’s Life in the World today” (John 10:10)
Spirituality of the LSOSF:
Any kind of spirituality traces its origin to its founder. Mother Kevin embodied certain spiritual characteristics which she learned from St. Francis and the community of St. Mary Abbey. Mother Kevin was convinced that it was possible to experience God in the ordinaries of life, meaning of love and service which the LSOSF embody in our society today. Filled with compassion for the crucified Christ felt and touched the suffering and vulnerable members of society
The power of the Incarnate, God embracing the human condition fully to tell us that we are all good. As Franciscans, we believe in the incarnation as that event which gives humans and all creation access to God. Mediation on the life of Jesus, thereby leading us to vision with Him.
As Little Sisters of St. Francis our spirituality is informed by the desire to experience God within ourselves, in our relationships and compassionate attention to the needs of our sisters and brothers wherever we encounter them
Extent of the Institute:
Mother Kevin the founder died after establishing twenty five convents and one novitiate. Fifty six convents, two novitiates and one Postulancy have been established since her death. To date the Institute has three novitiates, in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. The Institute has spread and has its presence and witness in 22 Dioceses in East African countries with eighty nine (89) houses situated in the various dioceses in East Africa as follows;
Kampala and Tororo Archdioceses, Kiyinda-Mityana, Masaka, Jinja, Soroti, Lugazi and Kasana- Luweero Dioceses
Bungoma, Kitale, Kisii, Nakuru, Nairobi Diocese, Muranga Diosese, Embu Diocese, Meru Diocese, Machakos Diocese, Kitui Diocese, Kericho Diocese
Same and Arusha Archdiocese
Milwauke Diocese, Richmond Diocese