Nakintu, Sr. Catharina

Nakintu, Sr. Catharina

Nationality:  Ugandan
Congregational Register No.
D.O.B.    24.06.1924
First Profession 03.10.1965
Died: 25.08.2009     Aged:   84 years

Katarina Nakintu was born into a devout Catholic family in Uganda in 1924.  She had six sisters and a number of brothers, some who died young from a heart condition.  As a young girl she had the desire to become a religious and joined the Marie Reparatrix Convent in Entebbe where she stayed for five years, leaving after the African Sisters became an independent community from the Marie Reparatrix Sisters.

In 1955 the first MMM Sisters arrived in Uganda. They had been invited to Masaka by Bishop Joseph Kiwanuka, a Ugandan who had joined the White Fathers and became the first African bishop south of the Sahara.  Katarina was working in the bishop’s residence as a receptionist. She became the Sisters’ interpreter, introducing them to the local culture and helping to pave the way for their new work.  She remained with them for several years, eventually deciding that her vocation was with the Medical Missionaries of Mary.  Katarina entered MMM in 1962 and took the name Sr. Catharina Laeticia.

Sr. Catharina completed her novitiate in Drogheda and was professed in 1965. She then trained as a midwife at the IMTH.  She returned to Uganda following her training and worked in Kitovu Hospital, later obtaining her public health visitor certificate from Mbarara Government Hospital.

Sr. Catharina, who constantly gave thanks for missionaries who left their homeland to serve others, was herself missioned to Tanzania. She was part of the first team to work with the government of Tanzania in the village of Babati in a far-reaching programme of health care and community development.  Later Catharina worked at Nangwa in the Great Rift Valley, where she was much involved with mother and child health and welfare, at Kabanga Hospital, and finally in the remote Loolera outpost with the Maasai people.  She returned to Uganda in 1991, living and working at Makondo where she was to spend the rest of her life.

Sr. Catharina (Kate) was a quiet, prayerful woman, spending many hours in silent prayer or reciting her Rosary.  She was kind-hearted and had a good sense of humour.  She was very proud of MMM and helpful to young Ugandan women who showed an interest in MMM, giving them prayer books and encouraging them to complete their education. The Ugandans who followed in her footsteps and are now valued members of MMM were a source of great joy and pride to her.

Catharina remained at Makondo as her health began to decline, trying to remain as independent as possible.  She gradually weakened and passed peacefully into the next life on 25 August 2009.  Catherina was buried in the Cistercian Sisters’ Cemetery at Butende.  The funeral was a grand affair with twenty priests attending and the bishop as the chief celebrant.  Mother Agatha, the abbess, supervised the grave digging herself!  The local people came for weeks afterwards to say how sorry they were and how much they would miss their Sr. Kate.  Catherina would have been very proud in her own quiet way.