A Portrait of a Missionary, Uganda
May 18, 2015
Since 2007, Sister Maria Ruthilde Haferkamp has faithfully served in Buseesa and Mpala, Uganda. Sister is from the Maria Regina Province, Coesfeld, Germany.
After faithfully serving the Lord as a nursery teacher, nursery director, parish assistant, and pastoral worker in various locations in Germany, Sister Maria Ruthilde felt the call to bring her gifts to share with the people of Africa.
At 70 years of age, she left the familiarity of her home country, learned English in the Thousand Oaks, California Province, and came to Buseesa, Uganda. She helped where ever needed both in Buseesa and Mpala, Uganda.
She was a pioneer in Mpala where she lived for over six years. No job was too great or too humble for Sister Maria Ruthilde. She supervised workers, moved furniture, and chose paint colors for the new formation house. She taught priests wanting to learn German. Visiting the local families and giving food to the poor were favorite activities of hers. She was instrumental in starting Notre Dame Nursery School in Mpala.
Sister Maria Ruthilde was an assistant formator and taught the young women how to keep the convent home so visitors and the sisters would be happy and comfortable. Each day she met with the women in formation to give them a “homily” consisting of the day’s work and some words of wisdom to help them to be part of the Notre Dame family. Her favorite expression was, “Be normal!” This means to leave aside false piety and live an integrated life. Sister will leave Uganda in early August. She will be greatly missed by all.