The congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Archdiocese of Mombasa was founded in 1938 by Bishop John Hefferman Cssp, Vicar Apostolic of the Vicariate of Zanzibar by then, with the help of Mother Amadea Csp. The institute was named St. Joseph who was the patron of the Vicariate.

The founding Sisters were Mary Njeri, Theresa Nyambura, Joseph Nyambura and Martha Tatu.  The four were determined to become Sisters just "like the European Sisters" of the Precious Blood Congregation that saw to it that the young African girls got a strong foundation in christianity and religious life.

Bishop Hefferman intended that the Sisters of St. Joseph should be a religious apostolic congregation very much involved in all activities related to the development of the local church in Kenya and especially in Mombasa. Mombasa was part of the Vicariate of Zanzibar, which later developed to a diocese of its own; hence the name of the Congregation became Sisters of St. Joseph. of Mombasa.

The Sisters were to work to evangelize the people in co-operation with the Bishop and the clergy. They were to work among them in such a way that their simplicity, service and prayer life would influence the people in making the faith an inspiration of their lives and culture. Indeed Sisters Mary Njeri, Theresa Nyambura, Joseph Nyambura and Martha Tatu became witnesses of Christ's love among the local people who for the first time saw African girls become Sisters.


The Precious Blood Sisters trained the Sisters of St. Joseph in religious life. Sr. Rosalina received the first candidates at Bura Mission in Taita on June 6, 1929. Bura became the cradle of the new Congregation and it still is the Mother House of the Sisters of St. Joseph. More girls joined the congregation every year.  However some left, but a few remained to become the connerstone upon which the Congregation is build.

These candidates were sent to Tanzania to be trained with the sisters of Kilimanjaro after which they returned to Bura.  In 1938 the Decree to erect the Congregation was granted by Rome and consequently five girls were received as postulants on December 8, 1938.  Two years later, on 8th Dec 1941, four of the girls made their first profession.

Since then the congregation has grown tremendously; we are now 240 Professed Sisters, 12 Novices, 9 Postulants and 7 Candidates.