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Sisters of Providence and Daughters of Mary meet for the first time on Ugandan soil
40-year reunion is a joyous one
Excerpt reprinted from Caritas, Spring 2001
As Sister Alice St. Hilaire drew near, 40-year-old memories came flooding back to Sister Marie Leonsia, one of Uganda’s Daughters of Mary. The Ugandan woman stared as if she could not believe she actually was seeing her teacher and friend from her extended stay with the Sisters of Providence in the Pacific Northwest, so many years ago. “You’re here! You’re here!” Sister Marie Leonsia exclaimed as they embraced. Both women’s eyes filled with tears. – January 27, 2001
|Five Sisters of Providence made the journey to Uganda in December 2010, to join in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Daughters of Mary. They also visited the ministries of Sisters of Providence in Cameroon.
The seed for the relationship between the two women and between their respective religious communities was planted when two Daughters of Mary came to Seattle in the early 1960s. The 600-member congregation of Daughters of Mary is the first indigenous religious community of women south of the Sahara.
Sisters of Providence have provided room, board and the support of community life while the Ugandans pursue their educational goals. The Jesuit community at Seattle University has offered full scholarships for tuition and books. In January 2001, for the first time, a contingent from Sisters of Providence, Mother Joseph Province, visited the Daughters of Mary in Uganda.
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Over the last five decades, approximately 20 Ugandan women have made the journey to Seattle from across continents, communities and cultures. Five more Sisters of Providence made the journey to Uganda in December 2010, to join in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Daughters of Mary. They also visited the ministries of Sisters of Providence in Cameroon.
Click here to read the three-part journal of their visit and to see pictures of the events, surroundings and people they encountered. To read their reflections on this cultural exchange, see the spring 2011 issue of the sisters’ quarterly newsletter, Caritas, which will be available in print and online on March 17.