Did you know about Sr. Solome Nkeesa? The Senatus of Uganda always prays for her in July. Here is something about her.
Who is Solome Nkeesa?
Solome Nkeesa Kizza was born in 1922 at Busuubizi, Kiyinda-Mityana Diocese. Her parents; Mr. & Mrs. Kabuzi David had four Children; three girls and one boy. Solome was the first born. Her father served in the palace of Kabaka Daudi Chwa. She was married in Church to Mr. Masiyale Kizza, a surveyor. They lived at Lungujja and this is where Solome joined the Legion of Mary as an active member. The couple did not have any Child. When later they separated, Nkeesa shifted to her second home at Kiwumulo, Bunamwaya.
The gift to the Legion of Mary
In 1983, she donated the Bunamwaya home, a land of 0.61 acres, to the Legion of Mary. Transfer of ownership of this land was done when she was still alive and sane. By the time she died in 2000 the Land title had already been put in the hands of the Church Hierarchy.
Nkeesa’s dream had been that the Legion of Mary owns its home, where Legionaries would have access and freedom to carry out their activities without any interruption or hindrances. We give glory to God for it came true.
The first plan was to put up a Multi – Purpose hall. Money was raised by Legionaries from all over Uganda. The hall was officially opened by the Archbishop of Kampala, His Grace Cyprian Kizito Lwanga in 2008.
At present, some Praesidia, four (4) Comitia namely Kampala Comitium A, Kampala Comitium B, Kiwumulo Comitium, Kampala Central Comitium and the Senatus of Uganda use the hall for their meetings. Similarly Legion of Mary congresses, Seminars, retreats and functions are conducted in this same place.
His Eminence Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala, Archbishop Emeritus of Kampala, Rt. Rev. Edward Baharagate, Bishop Emeritus of Hoima, the late Rt. Rev. Henry Ssentongo and many priests have visited this home and celebrated Mass at different occasions. We have as well received some international visitors. One of the former Presidents of Concilium Bro. Patrick Fay together with three (3) Legionaries from Dublin Ireland visited Kiwumulo in 1992. The President of the Senatus of Kenya Sr. Consolata Olwa and four Legionaries from Juba, South Sudan visited the home in 2019.
Significant to keep in the Legionaries’ memories is the 7th & 8th September, 2019. On these two days Legionaries from all over Uganda gathered at Kiwumulo. They came to welcome the Holy image of Our Lady of Kibeho, Mother of the Word. It was an event to mark the annual celebrations of the beginning of the Legion of Mary and the birthday of Mother Mary. Day and night, it was prayer, joy and excitement.
Nkeesa’s strong faith and Contribution to the Legion of Mary
1. HER LOVE FOR JESUS
- She received frequently the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion.
- She volunteered to work as a Sacristan at Bunamwaya Catholic Church when it was still a Sub- Parish. She cleaned the church, dug around the compound, planted flowers and looked after them.
- She was blessed in that when she became old and could not walk to the Church to attend Mass on Sundays, Priests from the parish visited her at home to administer the sacraments. Nkeesa who loved Jesus so much in the Holy Eucharist, on these visits, would thoroughly clean the compound and her house. She would decorate the sitting room with flowers and other beautiful items and materials. Her preparation for the visitor did not stop at that, she as well considered her physical appearance important. She would put on her nice attire and eagerly waited to receive the Lord Jesus in her home. This intensive external preparation would reveal certainly her internal love for JESUS.
- She loved all people, women and men, young and old, believer or non-believer. She would see JESUS in everyone.
2. HER LOVE FOR MARY, MOTHER OF JESUS.
- She prayed the rosary every day. She did so many times. She woke up very early in the morning and went to bed late at night. She wanted to have enough time for the day’s prayers. Much as she was an active Legionary, she said all Legion of Mary prayers daily. Her neighbors testify that during the war of 1986, people deserted their homes and run to far places for security. Nkeesa remained in her home praying the rosary throughout.
- She spearheaded the spread of the Legion of Mary in Bunamwaya Parish. Some of the Praesidia she started include: Queen of Africa, Kiwumulo, Cause of Our Joy; Kitebi, Queen of the most Holy Rosary; Lufuka, Queen of the Faithful; Nfuufu, Queen of Peace; Ngobe and Queen of Peace; Kisigula. She also started Praesidia in Lweza Parish.
- She kept the Altar Items of the Legion of Mary very clean and with due respect.
- She donated Land to the Legion of Mary, which in essence was donation to Mother Mary.
3. HER LOVE FOR THE CHURCH
She prayed daily a Rosary for priests and the religious. She loved and respected Church Leaders, the clergy and the laity.
4. HER GENEROSITY
- Sr. Nkeesa was such a generous person that portrayed the true image of the Legion of Mary. She donated her Bunamwaya – Kiwumulo home to the Legion. She donated her second home at Lungujja to the Catholic Church. This is where the late Emmanuel Cardinal Nsubuga built and established an orphanage.
- Sr. Nkeesa welcomed without any limitation everyone to her home. She did not let any of her visitors go without offering something to eat, drink or take home. She sometimes sacrificed her personal meals which were usually prepared for her by the neighbours or friends. She would go without meals for the sake of her visitors. Besides giving prepared or ready food, Nkeesa gave fruits, raw food or clothes to people who visited her.
5. HER ADVICE TO LEGIONARIES
- Sr. Nkeesa frequently advised Legionaries never to miss attending Praesidium meetings whatever the case was. She encouraged them to make effort to keep time for the meetings. She used to tell them that a Legionary should draw as few other programs as possible on the day of the Praesidium meeting.
- She advised Legionaries to pray the CATENA whenever and wherever they met. The very first thing she did when a Legionary visited her at home was to abandon what she would be doing, rise up and pray the CATENA. This she would do immediately, before they exchanged greetings.
- She advised Legionaries to frequent the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion, and to keep their purity.
6. HER DEATH
Sr. Nkeesa died on 17th July, 2000. The Senatus of Uganda annually commemorates her death anniversary in July and Mass is celebrated on the day of the Senatus meeting. This year was her 20th death anniversary. Members, remember to pray for this committed and generous soldier of our Queen and Mother, Mary. May her soul rest in peace.