"They are the mother and father of the camp.
They are saints walking among us."
On August 15, 1966, a group of young women founded the Little Sisters of Nazareth, in Ghent, Belgium. They were active in the working world through their membership of the Catholic Young Workers movement, but sought more completely to live the charism of Brother Charles, and of Cardinal Cardijn. They sought a form of religious life characterised by sharing ordinary working class life, proclaiming to everyone they met in their life and activity that “your life is worth more than all the gold in the world.”
The Little Sisters of Nazareth is one of the smallest groups following in the footsteps of Brother Charles. The sisters live and work among the poor in Belgium, Colombia, France, Spain, Venzuela, and Lebanon. They have been present in Dbayeh Camp since 1987, arriving at the height of the Lebanese civil war. Ever since their arrival, they have sought to be a simple, loving presence in the camp, sharing in the suffering and joys of the community and doing their utmost to serve its needs. Perhaps the most important aspect of their work is their small medical clinic, which currently operates on a budget of $1 per resident and month.
There are three sisters in Dbayeh Camp, and their life of service to the refugees captures the essence of Brother Charles' intention:
"Above all, always see Jesus in every person, and consequently treat each one, not only as an equal and as a brother or sister, but also with great humility, respect, and selfless generosity."
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"What I am dreaming of is something very simple and small in numbers, something to resemble those simple communities of the Church’s early days. To lead the life of Nazareth, working humbly and contemplating Jesus, a little family, a little monastic household, something very small and simple."
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"Set up home as Jesus of Nazareth, obscurely, poorly, humbly with hard work. Imitate as closely as possible the humble and hidden existence of the Divine Worker of Nazareth, living solely from the work of your hands."