Celebrating 25 Years of Service – Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Reparatrix, Juliet Nakalema

Sister Juliet Nakalema celebrates 25 years of religious life and love that she considers foundational to who she is.

“We prayed constantly and talked about God everywhere,” said Sister Nakalema of her upbringing. “I never saw anyone in my family ashamed of prayer. I was four years old when I started leading prayer and the only time I was ever bored was when I was outside the church environment. It was in my novitiate when I felt the real call, that true love for God required sacrifice.”

Sister Nakalema is from Uganda and has been in the United States for 17 years. She serves at Blessed Trinity Parish in Ocala which in 2003 partnered with her native parish as a mission church and has subsequently helped build a church, school, as well as several little satellite parishes “out in the bush.” As a result, she is able to return to her home on a mission trip every year.

“Since being in the U.S., I have encountered so many people who are hearing God speak to them for the first time and so many others who find it hard to accept the faith,” Sister Nakalema explained. “I do pastoral care and I have seen so many return to the faith in the hospital. Some find it hard to say they’ve been away for a very long time, but when they come back, they don’t want to go away. We need to invite people to come back in a very simple way.”

Bringing communion to the sick is a very big part of Sister Nakalema’s joy.

“Every single day, I touch the Eucharist,” she explained. “Every single day I bring Jesus. It’s a very great honor and a privilege. I treasure that God chose me. All my life I’ve wanted to be in the house of the Lord serving him. I love it. I love living in community. I have everything. Religious life gives me so much joy!