top of page

Nazareth Sisters of the Annunciation – IOWA

In 2013, two Nazareth sisters from Kenya were sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines to work in central Iowa at a Catholic home-based Hospice organization operating in the Des Moines area. When that organization began to struggle financially, Sister Rosehellen Karwirwa and Sister Joan Clare Njoroka were recruited to work as patient care associates at MercyOne Medical Center in Des Moines.  In 2016, Sisters Rosehellen and Joan Clare were joined by two other Nazareth sisters from Kenya.  Sister Rosalia Njura and Sister Joan Susan Mwende also now live in Des Moines and work at MercyOne Medical Center in Des Moines.

These sisters live as a small community in Iowa.  They send any extra money they earn that is not needed for basic living expenses back home to support the work of the Nazareth Sisters in Kenya.

In 2020, a group of supporters in Iowa helped the sisters form a 501(c)(3) organization as a mechanism to raise additional funds to support the work of the Nazareth Sisters of the Annunciation in Kenya.  Current members of the Nazareth Sisters of the Annunciation-USA Board of Directors include:

Screen Shot 2022-01-14 at 10.32.18 AM.png

Standing (L → R)  Sister Joan Susan Mwende, Sister Rosehellen Karwirwa

Seated (L → R)  Sister Rosalia Njura, Sister Joan Clare Njoroka


Jon Leonetti - President

Sister Rosehellen Karwirwa - Secretary

Verne Houston  - Treasurer

Peter Ickes, JD - Member

Carl Christie, MD - Member

Rosa Ignacio-Reyes, MD - Member

Steve Craig, MD - Member

Robyn Wilkinson - Member

Rob Howard, JD - Member

Sister Lillia Kagendo - Member

Tom Moreland - Member


bottom of page