Catholic women played a big role in health and healing early in modern Europe. Most Hospitals at that time were run by charitable organizations and Christian Missionary Roman Catholic Churches. At that time, married women did not work, their job was to take care of their families. So, Catholic Nuns were staff in Hospitals as Nurses/Administrators and care takers.
During that time, diseases were often fetal and medicines were primitive. Nursing was primarily a religious role for the nurses and catholic nuns who had moral fiber to risk their lives and expose themselves to contagion in order to protect the sick. Up to date, Catholic Church is one of the Country’s largest private not for profit (PNPF) providers of health care services delivery.
The term “Sister” was used to designate a nurse (originally Catholic nun) who was in charge of wards or in operation theatre and administration. Catholic nuns were also called Sisters because of their helping tendency towards the poor and marginalized. Catholic Sisters who proved nursing care viewed health care as an expression of God’s love for all people. If they could not save lives, they could at least try to save souls.
It is good for those of us who work in Catholic health care facilities to remember that history is not a thing wholly of the past, people continue to make history every day, and it is essential for us to recognize events that are historical. It is good for us, too, to recognize that figure whom we now regard as historic were, in their own times, seen as countercultural. In fact, were simply doing what they felt called to do.
As Hospitals grew into complex, health care organization staffed largely by the laity, some Sister nurses saw the need to go outside the walls of the institute to provide care to people with unmet needs. Hence, Sisters became fully involved in real life situation not just bystanders to life that swirls around them.
For centuries, it was believed that too much contact with the secular world, with its problems and temptations, posed a threat to holiness for religious. But therein was the challenge-how to be of service to others, so as many sisters were in health care, education and social services, and remain apart from the world at the sometime. In 1950s, the idea of leaving the world to find holiness already changing.
It is in this context that the Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHMR) commonly known as Ggogonya Sisters are well represented in Our Lady Of Consolata-Kisubi Hospital in different departments. This is a complementary gesture in addition to the Historical background given above to continue with the healing presence of God.