Sr. Vincent was born as Veronica Elias Sarwatt in Mbulu, Tanzania in 1932. She worked as a teacher for six years before entering MMM. Sr. Vincent was the first Tanzanian to enter MMM in 1957 and travelled to Ireland with Sr. Aloysia to begin her religious formation. She was professed on 3rd October 1959 and qualified from IMTH (International Missionary Training Hospital, now known as Our Lady of Lourdes), Drogheda, as a Nurse/Midwife in 1963. She attended a course in England at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 1972 and also trained in Middle Management in Liverpool in 1976. Sr. Vincent attended a one-year Renewal Program in Rome in 1974 and later joined the Formation Team in Tanzania. She was Postulant Directress from 1981 – 1983.
Sr. Vincent worked in various roles in our MMM hospitals; Namanyere, Kabanga and Makiungu. In 1992 she was assigned to Nangwa where she worked in our Mother and Child Health Clinics and with Natural Family Planning in the Nangwa Village Health Program. In her late 80’s, as she grew frail and needed some health care herself, Sr Vincent moved to Arusha in July 2019. This was also the year of her Diamond Jubilee. She was cared for in the Mother Mary Home (MMH) in Ngaramtoni, Arusha until her death on 19 July 2022.
Sr. Vincent was a very committed MMM who valued her vocation and always encouraged the younger MMMs to persevere in theirs. She often mentioned that since God gave us our vocations that what we needed to do was to trust that God would lead us where he wanted us. She wanted MMM to be truly an International Congregation, welcoming the gift that each culture brings. She had great devotion to the Sacred Heart and was a life member of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association since 1956.
Sr Vincent had a special love for the poor and had a constant stream of needy people visiting her when she lived in Nangwa. After moving to Ngaramtoni, she adapted this ministry and used her mobile phone to communicate and to send them financial assistance via Mpesa.
She spent the last two years of her life confined to her ensuite-bedroom but enjoyed receiving spiritual input by listening to the national catholic radio station, Radio Maria, for transmission of Holy Mass, Rosary and many inspirational talks and discussions. She also loved her television which was set permanently on an American Catholic channel, EWTN, for similar inputs. Although her eyesight was very poor during this time, she kept abreast with all the news especially that of MMM. She adapted once again and availed of Zoom to communicate with our Congregational Leader for our virtual Visitation in 2021.
Her health deteriorated in the last week of her life and yet she spoke to some of our sisters on the morning of her death. The Community Weekly Mass was offered for her, and she was called home to God at the time of the consecration.
Sr Vincent was buried beside our three deceased Tanzanian sisters in Ngaramtoni convent on Wednesday 27th July 2022. May she rest in peace.