Sr Rose Nyondo interview with the congregation’s Media Team

Sr Rose Nyondo

Posted | 26 February 2022 12:00 CAT

Share your name, when and where you were born?
My name is Sister Rosemary Chiluba Nyondo and I was born on 15th June 1949 at Kaseye Mission health centre, Chitipa, Malawi.

Kindly share your education background before joining the congregation?
My first early grades were in Catholic schools in Malawi and in Zambia. I did part of my primary education at Railway Catholic School now called Mwashi Primary School in Kabwe.

I did my secondary education at Chipembi Girls Secondary School. It was at Chipembi when I first wrote my letter of intention to become a sister.

How did you find yourself on your journey with the congregation? What led you to join?
It was in 1969 when the then Archbishop of Lusaka Emmanuel Milingo visited our school and talked to a group of Catholic girls about a new congregation that he was going to start. Being the president of the Catholic group at school I took the contacts to share with the girls who would be interested to make applications. At that time, I had no desire of being a Religious, but later on I felt I was being called and responded by writing a letter of inquiry.

Late Sr Rosemary Ngoma and Sr Rosemary Nyondo

How did this congregation come about? How did this journey start for you and the other founding members?
The then Archbishop of Lusaka Emmanuel Milingo was inspired by the Catholic sisters who worked in the Major Seminary at Kachebere and the Diocese of Chipata where he originally came from. He wanted to start a congregation of Zambian Catholic sisters who would be truly religious, truly Zambian and holy in their way of life.

When I felt that I might have the vocation I wrote my letter of application with full of excuses as to why I cannot be a Catholic nun. One excuse was that I am sickly and another was that I come from a protestant family and getting permission to become religious would be difficult.

The other founding members were in different schools and institutions we only met each other through newsletters called Bulletins which were written every month , containing news of who was where and what they were doing? We only used to meet for summer school and annual retreats.

Sr Rose Nyondo renewing her vows
At the congregation’s silver jubilee celebration in 1994

Highlight your milestones in the congregation.
My personal milestones are brief:
1. Taking my first vows on 12th January 1975.
2. Celebrating my Silver Jubilee (25 years) in 2000.
3. Celebrating the approval of our congregation as a full flagged religious congregation of Diocesan Right by Rome in 2002.
4. Celebrating the Golden Jubilee (50 years) as a congregation in 2019.

Kindly share your apostolic life (where you have worked) in the congregation.
My first pastoral work was in Katondwe mission 1970 and my second pastoral work was in Mphashya at St. Luke’s’ Hospital.

After my first profession I worked for the Archdiocese of Lusaka as editor of a youth magazine called “THE SUN” from 1975 to 1976.

1976 I was appointed as Secretary for Communications from 1976 to 1979 for the then Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) now Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB).

I went to do my BA for four years at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. I came back and continued working with ZEC from 1984 to 1986. I went to do my MA for two years At Marquette University. When I came back I joined the University of Zambia Department of Mass Communication as a lecturer in July 1989. I am in the last contract with the university.

Sr Rose Nyondo with her media studies students

From 1990 to 1996 I served the congregation for two terms as vicar. I re-joined the university in 1997. I was retired in 2004 and was put on contract. I will finish my last contract on June 30, 2022.

Looking back, share your experience as a religious sister and what advise do you have for young girls contemplating on joining religious life especially your congregation.
Religious life is a happy joyous life if you totally surrender your life to God and let Him take control. The Lord says take up your cross and follow me, the larger part of your cross is carried by Him the one you are following. I celebrated 47 years this year 2022 as a religious sister and time has passed so fast. In all these years the Lord has remained faithful and has carried me in his hands. I have lived a joyous happy life, He has taken me in all my endeavours with tenderness and love. He has jealously taken care and protected me .

When the Lord calls you to religious life answer the call and let him take control. Refusing to say yes to what God is calling you to, will frustrate your life. You will never be happy. True joy in your life will only come when you answer to God’s will in your life. Don’t force yourself into something that is not meant for you. God has a plan for you, seek it and diligently follow it.

Focus your life on Jesus let him be the centre of life the director of your activities. All this is possible if prayer life is your daily activity.

Sr Rose Nyondo in the Chapel at her community

Any other Remarks
The call to Daughterhood is call to radiate Christ’s goodness to the people you will live and work with. You will be following Christ who is all goodness, who died to give us the life of God. Through his death we become God’s eternal children. If God is calling you to that mission of service in the congregation of the Daughters of the Redeemer SAY YES.