For here the Proverb holds true: “One sows, another reaps” (Jn. 4.17).
How true this Scripture text is we could witness in Kisubi on the 1st of October when participating in the Centenary Celebrations of St. Theresa’s Girls’ School founded by our Sisters in the year 1915. This celebration came shortly after another celebration on the 27th August when we were invited to join the feast in Lubaga in honor of 60 years existence of St Michael Lubaga Hospital Training Schools established in 1956 with the support of our Sisters. The hospital was one of our first foundations in Uganda. Both institutions are two of our Sisters’ dreams come true.
Our Sister’ dreams:
The first dream was that many Ugandans might have access to good health care services, and today we can rejoice seeing so many young people well trained, nursing and caring for the sick and at the same time greatly contributing to the improvement of medical care in Uganda. The work of one of our sisters, Sr. Anne Marie Specht, was singled out and much appreciated as a particularly valued contribution in raising the standard of education offered in the Training School. The leadership of the Hospital and the Training school is in the hands of our “daughters”, the Bannabikira Sisters, the first religious women congregation founded by our sisters.
The second dream: the dream that young girls had a chance of a good education and “to help them to become good Christians.”
Our Bunamwaya community took part in this day of great jubilation and thanksgiving. In the course of the centenary celebration of St Theresa Kisubi Girls’ Primary School the main celebrant Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, the headmistress, staff, pupils, Government representatives highly appreciated the work of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa. They expressed their gratitude for having founded the school and worked there for many years. This anniversary was a big event for the whole Catholic Church in Uganda as well as for the country itself. The Minister of Higher Education thanked the Church for promoting good quality education and asked to “continue and do even better”.
Cardinal Lavigerie’s dream for Africa:
The history of “St. Theresa Kisubi Girls’ Primary School and other institutions founded by our Sisters are the living testimony of Cardinal Lavigerie’s dream for Africa: “Missionaries must be in the first place initiators. The enduring work can only be carried out by the Africans themselves, once they have become Christians and apostles.”
In 1970 the leadership of the primary school was handed over to the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Reparatrix (Gogonya Sisters) who are in charge of it up to this day. Presently, the girls’ primary school has 1020 pupils whose motto is: “Purity brings happiness”.
Rubaga Hospital was handed over to the Bannabikira Sisters in 1973 who with great love and dedication have continued to serve Christ in the poor and the sick.
Celebrating Our History in Uganda with Gratitude.
Lord Jesus, as we are looking at our past with gratitude in preparation to the great Jubilee of our 150 years of existence we thank you for our sisters who worked in your field and struggled to make you known and loved in Uganda. May we never forget their inheritance and follow Christ with the same courage and simplicity. May Our Lady of Africa remain forever the loving Mother and Guardian of Uganda and her people. Amen.
Sisters from Bunamwaya community, Uganda