Sister Jacqueline_websitee

Our Global Salvatorian Community: Sister Jacqueline Mwakasu Kona, SDS

During 2023 Catholic Sisters Week, we’re shining a light on the international members of our General Administration, or Generalate, in Rome. Over the week, we’ll share the answers of our seven Team Members to questions about their call to religious life and what it means to belong to the international Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Savior.

Prior to her current position as one of the General Councilors, Sister Jacqueline Mwakasu Kona, SDS tended to severely malnourished children at a care center in Tanzania. Now, she serves her international congregation of more than 1,000 sisters ministering in 26 countries on five continents.

1) How did you come to know the Sisters of the Divine Savior and decide to enter?

In short, I met the Salvatorian Sisters through a classmate in year five of secondary school. But, in large, I really discovered the Salvatorians through a vocation book for men religious published by the Diocese of Congo in 1985. From the beginning, I felt a deep connection to the charism of the Salvatorian Fathers, but I was unsure if there were any Salvatorian women. There was no mention of Salvatorian Sisters in the book for women religious. So, I kept my interest a secret and began praying to find a female congregation with a similar charism to the Salvatorian Fathers’ spirit.

Then in 1987, I reconnected with a friend at school, and we begin sharing our stories with one another. While she tells me about her interest in religious life, she mentions her desire to join the Salvatorian Sisters. I was in shock. How could she join a congregation that does not exist? She confidently replied, “They do exist, and they are located in Kapanga, Democratic Republic of Congo.” I was filled with excitement and after class on Monday, I went to the vocation club meeting for more clarification. Our parish priest, who was a Salvatorian, confirmed the existence of the Salvatorian Sisters. After a moment of speechlessness, I shouted in relief. A couple days later, I met the visiting Superior at the Salvatorian parish house and quickly entered formation.

2) What was your ministry prior to serving in international Leadership?

I was in mission in the Kabwe Diocese in Zambia, visiting sick elders and families in the diocese’s poorest areas. I was also a board member of Zambia’s Association of Sisterhood (ZAS) and represented the Salvatorian Sisters at national meetings.

3) What is your most memorable experience as a Salvatorian Sister?

My most memorable experience as a Salvatorian Sister is when I worked with malnourished children at the Uzima Centre in Tanzania. It was remarkable to witness a child close to death, smiling and walking again after two weeks under our care. My heart warms at the thought of them coming back to life.

4) Why is international collaboration important to the Sisters of the Divine Savior?

International collaboration is important because it is at the root of the Salvatorian charism. We are united in our commitment to sharing the universality of our Divine Savior. Our diversity of culture helps us open our minds to other nations and set aside prejudices.

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