Good Lord has wiped away tears from my eyes. He has called my daughter to be
his handmaid. This is the greatest consolation of my life." In these words
Namukasa described her deep feelings to Cardinal Emmanuel Nsubuga of Kampala
Archdiocese just before the religious profession of her oldest daughter in the
Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Reparatrix at Gogonya, Uganda in 1985.
Namukasa and her 12-year-old daughter Namusome had arrived at the cardinal’s
residence in rags. The youngest daughter was wearing a dirty and torn boy’s
pants and shirt. They were both filthy and very thin. They had been walking
through thick forests and bushes and across wide rivers for weeks.
the Ugandan Civil War in 1985, Namukasa, her husband, and two of their children
had been forced to flee into the forest away from the Luwero Triangle danger
zone. One evening their village had been surrounded by government solders who
were fighting against the guerrillas. In such circumstances it was safer to run
away from the military men than to stay and be shot dead as anti-government
fighters or their sympathizers.
they walked through the forest day after day, the family’s food supply became
less and less until Namukasa’s husband decided to leave the remaining food to
his wife, daughter, and nine-year-old son. Not long afterwards the husband got
a severe fever so that he could hardly move. He begged his family to leave him
behind so that he would not delay their escape. Of course his wife and children
refused. They continued on their dangerous trek until the man himself died.
Namukasa and her two children covered his body with leaves and branches of
trees. After paying their last homage to their beloved, they continued on their
a few days the boy also died. Now Namukasa really began to fear. On one hand
she was afraid that the military men would grab the two of them, rape them, and
then murder them. On the other hand she was scared to remain in the forest
because they had no food to sustain them. To protect her daughter from being
raped, she dressed Namusome in her brother’s pants and shirt. Then they moved
by the soldiers who were patrolling the villages in the danger zone. The
soldiers looked them over, terrorized them a little, and finally allowed them to
continue their safari. The soldiers took little interest in the two shabby
travelers who were like skeletons and good for nothing.
their safe passage, Namukasa and Namusome pushed on until they arrived at their
destination near Kampala. They were told that one of their family members,
Mary, was going to make her first profession. The next morning Namukasa was
present for the ceremony. She wept tears of sheer joy as Cardinal Nsubuga
introduced her as the woman who had suffered a lot, buried her husband and son
in the forest, but had been sustained by her love and faith in the Lord. Now
Namukasa was greatly consoled by her daughter’s profession.