MY JOURNEY WITH THE DAUGHTERS OF THE REDEEMER – SR CATHERINE KAIMFA
Posted | 29 June 2022 11:00 CAT
Sr Catherine Mary Kaimfa was born on 24th November 1952 in the outskirts of Kabwe, Zambia. She did her primary school at St Mary’s School in Kabwe. Her secondary school was at Ibenga Girls’ Secondary School and at Dominican Secondary School where she completed from.
She shares her journey with the congregation, how it all started.
“God’s ways are not ours, while I was at secondary school I felt the inner call which I thought it would go away because it was on and off. But through prayer and discerning I discovered God’s call,” Sr Kaimfa shared.
Sr Kaimfa gives an account of how the congregation came about and how the journey with the other founding members started: “During holidays in August we went for summer school with other congregations then December we had a retreat only for those who wanted to join the Daughters of the Redeemer. It was an interesting and challenging venture. Meetings were held were some guidelines were set, to know the aim of the congregation which is to spread the Spirit of Christ (Goodness) in the Zambian community by carrying out different apostolates, a spiritual ladder to our Heavenly joy through service to God and our brothers and sisters for the glory of God and for the love of God. In 1970 we were received as aspirants and given bracelets attached with the medal of our Mother Mary for special protection”.
Sr Kaimfa shares the following highlights in the congregation “God is love, the new congregation was indeed led by the Holy Spirit. These were experiences of joy, sorrow and pain and yet the challenges made me to be focused, stand firm in faith, hope and love. As the congregation was starting, we had no accommodation. We could be sent to different congregations for pastoral activities while waiting to have our own home Mount Zion to be completed. Some friends including religious and priests would discourage us that there was no future in the new congregation. Yes we had very little things to live on yet we were very happy to be at our new home Mount Zion where we could share the charism of the congregation. It has not been easy to found the congregation with all the challenges we experienced yet by God’s grace we are what we are today with the support of our brothers and sisters. The experiences are there to help us to say ‘YES’, let’s God’s will be done”.
Sr Kaimfa made her first profession on 12 January 1975 and celebrated her silver jubilee (25 years) in the year 2000.
She shares about her apostolic life in the congregation saying that “the different courses I did in various countries and within Zambia have helped me to carry the apostolate effectively while being aware of the blessings and graces leading me on the journey of faith”.
– She was appointed as Assistant Novice Mistress and later on when their formator mum Matilda Roy of Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa left for Canada, she became the Novice Mistress and Vicaress of the congregation.
– She also worked as Postulant Mistress.
– She worked as an Accountant at Theresanum Press in Woodlands “I was more involved in administration”.
– She worked at Zambia Helpers Society as Administrator.
– She was the first indigenous sister to be Secretary at the Zambia Association of Sisterhood (ZAS).
– She worked as Pastoral Sister at St Joseph Parish in Lusaka’s Chilenje South.
– She worked at Emmaus Spirituality Centre giving spiritual exercises and worked at St Bonaventure – Assisi House as an Administrator.
– In Kabwe at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart she was involved in giving catechism lessons.
– She was Chaplain of the National Movement of Catholic Students for Higher Institutions of Learning.
She has being involved with Marriage Encounter, Charismatic Renewal Movement, Marian Movement and served as Board Member of Chainama Hospital for two years.
– She has been involved in giving retreats, seminars, workshops and counseling within and outside the congregation.
“These experiences have been fulfilling for the glory and the love of God and neighbour,” she highlighted.
“I have quality time to spend before the Blessed Eucharist to pray, adore, praise, to give thanks and just being present and enjoy His presence. Indeed the joy of the Lord is my strength in whatever situation or challenge I am facing. It is also time spent to pray and intercede for the congregation, the Church, families and whatever is happening in our nation and world at large”.
“My deep appreciation and gratitude go to the Holy Trinity for inviting me to this noble vocation; my parents and family for blessing me to join the congregation of the Daughters of the Redeemer; the Daughters of the Redeemer for their support; my brothers and sisters and those gone to the Lord for their prayers to help me to respond YES like our mother Mary”.
Looking back she had this to share on her life as a religious sister and had the following advice for young girls contemplating on joining religious life especially her congregation.
“I praise and thank God for his love, mercy and compassion and be what I am as his beloved child with all my short comings. I have had challenges that helped me to realize by the grace of God the importance of prayer as the key to encounter Jesus as my personal Saviour who truly loves me as I am. He will never fail me despite that I fail him from time to time. I have to remain focused. Mother Mary is a loving faithful mother helping me to be faithful in deepening my personal love of her son Jesus the Redeemer who called and chose me to bear fruit, fruit that will last as I live in the congregation of the Daughters of the Redeemer. To the young girls, let them be themselves and listen to God’s invitation as they pray and discern their vocation. It is a joy and blessing to give oneself totally to God. It is a happy life to embrace with faith, hope and love. Challenges and struggles are there to reach holiness”.
“Jesus the Redeemer invites us to be joyful people because he is our strength and our help to share in his redemptive mission in radiating his Goodness, To die To give life, to be mothers of thousands and to practice the silent virtues. It is not an easy root and yet with the Trinity, we reach the goal. Thank you!” she said.