August 31, 2017
By Ed Byrne The Brillion News
REEDSVILLE – When Holy Family Parish held its annual parish picnic two weeks ago, Father Timothy Brandt was introducing two religious sisters to members of the parish community.
One of them, Sister Maddy, was wearing the blue habit of the Daughters of Mary.
She is a native of Uganda, and is at Silver Lake College in Manitowoc, as a student. Sister Maddy is living with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, whose ministries include Silver Lake College.
She has been a professed sister for four years.
In Uganda, a person’s future options are largely determined by how one does on a standardized test that caps off a high school education.
“Everybody has to take it, and they all do it on the same day,” Sister Maddy said. “It’s hard.”
She spent two years studying for the exam, and was so worried that she called her mother to warn her.
“I told her I didn’t think I would excel in this exam,” Sister Maddy said.
But then she learned that everyone, including several nuns, was praying for her to do well – and she did.
After that, she wrote to the Daughters of Mary and asked about becoming a nun. Her application was accepted, and thus began her journey.
Sister Maddy’s guide at the Holy Family Picnic was Sister Dolores Herrmann, a Whitelaw native, and a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.
“We are sponsoring sisters from different communities to come [to the U.S.A.] to be educated with us,” Sister Dolores said. “We educate them at our place. They live right with us.”
Sister Maddy is studying religion and computer science.
The trip to the Holy Family Picnic was also Sister Maddy’s introduction to a Polka Mass, which is apparently a rarity in Uganda these days.
“I enjoyed it so much because in Uganda, our Masses are lively, and so I wiggled my toes,” she said. “I didn’t want the Mass to end because I was enjoying it so much.”
The accordion, tuba and trumpet are not well known in rural Uganda, but the Polka beat was a hit with Sister Maddy.
Sister Dolores said she grew up with Polka music – and has been a professed sister for 53 years.
She headed to the convent to follow in the footsteps of three of her aunts, all of whom were members of the community.
This story was featured in the August 31, 2017 edition of The Brillion News.