Farewell Sr. Elkana

Sr. Elkana came to South Africa almost 60 years ago. Now she returned to Germany for good – and left the Region of St. Clare where she will always have a place in the heart of her fellow sisters.

In February 2019, it was finally time to say goodbye to Sr. Elkana. She was the oldest sister in the Region of St. Clare, having spent 58 years in her “second home” South Africa. In all those years she always kept very young at heart. Sr Elkana came to South Africa in 1961 and served in Mbongolwane hospital for over 25 years as a nurse. She was one of the founders of our childrens’ home St. Joseph CYCC, where she worked there until her last days in our Region. On the day before she left for Germany, she came to Eshowe Convent where the sisters had prepared a small farewell celebration for her. It started with vespers which where fitting for the occasion and solemnly nicely prepared by Sr. Antonia. Present were the sisters of Eshowe Convent, St. Clare Formation house, Sr. Assumpta and Sr. Bongiwe from Mbongolwane, Sr. Katharina, Antonia and Juliana and of course Sr. Elkana herself. Sr. Katharina shared a verse from Psalm 63 which was in line with the life and dedication of Sr. Elkana for all these years. “O God, you are my God; at dawn I seek you.” She also thanked her for her life of service in Mbongolwane, and presented her with a small basket as a gift, this was empty and so Sr. Katharina asked each Sister to fill this with a blessing for Sr. Elkana to take along. This was a touching moment as it brought the reality that Sr. Elkana was really leaving. She will be missed for her coffee sessions, singing, waltz words of wisdom and her good sense of humor. We all pray for her good health and stay back home in Germany. Sr. Elkana at the end also thanked the sisters for everything they have been in her life. ‘’I was not perfect sometimes. I was moody and for all those times I stepped on someone’s foot please forgive me “she said”.

Text: Sr. Maria Machi

Photo: Sr. Juliana Seelmann


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