My Vocational Journey: Sister Carolyne Kadogo

sisters of nazareth

I am Sister Carolyne Kadogo Lumula. I was born and brought up in the Western Part of Kenya, in a small town called Kakamega, in a family of 8 children. Two boys and six girls. I was the second born but the first of girls. My parents were farmers and so this means that we all helped them on the farm when we were of age. Being born in a strong catholic family, we were all introduced to the Faith were going to church on Sunday was Compulsory, and not only that but also we had to be attentive to the sermon because we would all talk about the great lesson learned at the priest’s sermon and from the scriptures read at church. This was like a routine and we all loved sharing what we heard in the Church. lt is now l realize that my parents were teaching us the art of listening to God’s word. Hospitality, love, and respect were mostly observed in my family thus sharing all that we had and being responsible for each other in the family. l finished my education and graduated as a Primary teacher as well as a secretary. Before entering the convent, l worked for a couple of years as a teacher which l greatly loved and enjoyed. My desire to become a sister begun in me when l was young in primary school. My dad had fallen sick and so the nuns who served in my parish used to come home to nurse him. The love they showed to my dad gave us the joy and hope of dad getting back to his feet again. Though young at that time, their service to my dad struck my heart and the feeling of wanting to be like them started growing in me. l once said to the sisters that, l would like to be like them but they replied that l had to complete school and pass very well if l wanted to become a sister.


Though l grew up with this desire in me, after completing my education l felt l wasn’t ready to enter the convent because l didn’t understand fully what it meant. l shared my desire with one of the sisters who was a close friend of mine. she encouraged me to take time and pray about it. So l decided to find a job and listen to my heart and make a proper decision with what l wanted in life. since l was one of the youth in our parish, we used to have more workshops directed by priests, nuns, and laypeople as well. They would give us talks about different types of vacations and l thought, with this knowledge, l needed to pray for God’s guidance to show me the way. l always count myself so happy for l later found a job in a catholic school and this meant that all my life was surrounded with catholic activities like teaching children liturgical dance, helping them at Sunday school teaching catechism and also helping children to take part in reading the Bible at school Masses this made me so happy though them excelling in their studies gave me more joy. At the school where l taught, l met other sisters from other congregations as well. We were good friends and l was moved to know more about them. They would invite me over the weekend or during school holidays to live with them to know more about their way of living and to have an idea of what religious life was. l felt drawn to one of the congregation and even went further to make an application to join.


So l became an aspirant while l still worked. As l continued to visit them, one-day l came across a vocation booklet with several congregations and their contacts. After reading and out of curiosity, l decided to write to a couple of them and the Sisters of Nazareth being one. lt did not take long to receive the replies. The sister in charge of vocations of the Sisters of Nazareth sends me a brochure with more information explaining their way of life. when l read about the care of the elderly and children, l remembered how my dad was well taken care of by the nuns on his sickbed until he fully recovered. l was not sure if l could do it since l wasn’t a nurse. l kept wondering if l should reply to the sisters or not. l later decided to do so since being a nurse was my first desire. To take care of the sick people. Spending time and giving them hope whenever they feel discouraged and nearly to the point of giving up. From this point, l started having constant communication with one of the sisters of Nazareth. l had not made my decision of joining. l knew and l was convinced that the Lord was calling me to serve Him in another congregation introduced to me by the sisters we worked with. They were so friendly to me and they also wished and prayed for me to become one of them. Through sharing with friends who supported me spiritually, l was discouraged to join the sisters of Nazareth due to their Charism of caring for the elderly. That meant that l was to give up my profession to another new one which they thought the Lord wasn’t calling me to do. l knew l wasn’t going to join them. A time came when l felt that l was ready to answer God’s call by joining one of the convents in Kenya. l wrote a letter to be accepted to which they replied and l decided to resign from my job.


Just before l took that step, l heard this inner voice telling me that l should go to Zimbabwe to see the sisters of Nazareth. l decided not to tell my friends but rather go and see because l knew they were going to discourage me. So l followed my heart. l wrote to the Sister who was in contact with me and she invited me for a come and see Programme in Zimbabwe. l spoke to my family about it and they were so supportive. When l arrived in Zimbabwe for the first time, l met the sisters at the airport happily waiting to receive me. The hospitality and the spirit of the sisters moved my heart and the atmosphere made me feel very much at home. l felt that sense of peace and joy. l was introduced to their prayer life, community living, and ministry. l was accepted to make my first profession in South Africa Cape Town. Then send to Johannesburg Community and asked to work with the Children. After a year l was then asked to join the Port Elizabeth Community where l am at present. l enjoy working with the residents. l learn a lot from them too for they have a lot of stories to tell.

My time is important to them. sometimes we talk and laugh about things. l also go to the soup kitchen at Saint James Parish in Shaudervil. This allows me to love those who have nothing by sharing what we have and receive. As l continue to answer to God’s call in the congregation of the Sisters of Nazareth and reflect on my vocation story, l have no regrets.

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