Sr Gaul, who became a Catholic nun in 1962, came to Uganda and started her missionary activity at Nkozi Hospital (in Mpigi district), in 1969.
Tributes have been paid to Marlis Gaul, a German missionary sister of the Catholic religious institute of the Sisters of Our Lady of Africa (White Sisters) who passed on in Germany, on March 13 (2019), at the age of 82.
Sr Gaul, who became a Catholic nun in 1962, came to Uganda and started her missionary activity at Nkozi Hospital (in Mpigi district), in 1969. She was subsequently transferred to Kilembe mines (Kasese, 1981), and later to Kisubi (1988).
In 1989, she was appointed to Joint Medical Store, Nsambya (JMS), where she served as Assistant Manager, Head of Procurement and General Manager, for 24 years. In 2013, she returned to Germany for cancer treatment. Her condition unfortunately failed to improve and, she eventually passed on.
Tributes for Sr Marlis were delivered during a memorial mass that the family of Joint Medical Store organised for her at the organisation’s headquarters at Nsambya on Friday (March 22). The mass was presided over by the Vicar-General of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Kampala, Msgr Charles Kasibante. The prelate was assisted by the organisation’s chaplain, Fr Cyprian Masembe, Fr Simeon Wanyama and Fr Richard Nnyombi of the missionary society of White Fathers. Catholic religious sisters of the missionary society of White Sisters also graced the function.
Msgr Kasibante spoke highly of Sr Marlis’ religious commitment and dedication to the delivery of health services to Ugandans.
“Sr Marlis has been a religious missionary for 56 years. She committed 44 years of her life to serving Ugandans. This is a testimony of her immense love for Uganda and Ugandans. She was committed to her God and the country. She served the Lord with her entire self. Further to working with Joint Medical store, she also offered voluntary services at Serenity Centre. She was a hardworking religious nun, who was also passionate about service delivery. She was also committed to the poor and the disadvantaged. She helped charitable institutions like Mapeera Bakateyamba’s Home, Nalukolongo. She also paid school fees and medical fees for many needy children. Let’s appreciate her charitable deeds and good will for Ugandans by offering her prayers.”
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of JMS, Dr Jack Jjagwe called Sr Marlis a “good ambassador of the Church to the Ministry of Health.”
“She always exhibited passion, goodwill and wisdom as she discussed matters related to the supply of medicine and medical equipment to Catholic medical bureaus. She had extra-ordinary commitment to suffering patients.”
The former General Manager of JMS, Kees Ebskamp also praised Sr Marlis. “She was a courageous, loyal and highly principled health worker. She would not tolerate any form of bribery. She was a development pillar of JMS. She always loved, welcomed and listened to people.”
Donna Kusemererwa also eulogized Sr Marlis. “She was instrumental in developing JMS. She was part of the organisation’s humble beginning, from a container in the compound of the Uganda Catholic Secretariat to the current state-of- the-art premises. At one time her name was synonymous with JMS. She had a heart of people.
“She helped many mothers to treat children that had complicated illnesses like leukemia and epilepsy. She linked JMS to government agencies like URA and international donor agencies. She would work hard and would not relax before getting what she wanted for JMS.”
Sr Mary Teopista of the Missionary Sisters of Africa said Sr Marlis was a devoted member of the congregation, who forgot about herself and also emptied herself in order to serve Ugandans. She said Sr Marlis had wanted to return, die and be buried in Uganda, but her hopes were shattered when her illness intensified.”
Bro Francis Dewez of the Missionary Society of White Fathers said Sr Marlis was an open minded nun, who would not hide her opinion. He also spoke highly about her charitable heart and her love for the poor.
The Executive Director of JMS, Dr Bildard Baguma said the organisation will be devoting some money, annually, to one of the charitable causes that Sr Marlis stood for, as a way to immortalize her. She also promised to convince the board of governors to name one of the organisation’s facilities after Marlis.