Our History

Henry Streicher was born 29th July 1863 in Alsace, Wasselonne, France to Jacques Streicher and Anna Mary Hebel Streicher. They were 8 children but 4 of them died in infancy. His elder brother became a priest and the only sister of his became a religious sister in the Congregation of the Sisters of Nevis.

Henry was a bright boy both in primary and seminary education. For this reason the Bishop of Nevis wanted him to become a diocesan priest rather then becoming a Missionary. God had destined Henry to come to Uganda in a mysterious way.

In 1884 he was diagnosed with T.B. It was only then his Bishop who was against his entering the Society of the White Fathers, allowed him on ground that the Henry’s doctor had said that he was to die within 2 years. On the contrary, Henry came to Uganda in 1891 and died in 1952 at the age of 89 and 61 years of his life were spent in Uganda.

Mother Mechtilde

Mother Mechtilde was born 6th February 1875 in Holland in The Netherlands and was baptised Catherine. Her parents were John and Mrs Verkley. At the age of 8 her mother died and her eldest sister, Jane, assumed the responsibility of a mother. Catherine was gentle, kind, hard working and obedient child.

Although her family resisted her idea of becoming a missionary in Africa, Catherine after reading the stories of the White Fathers and that of the Uganda Martyrs she proclaimed: “My decision to go to Africa is not from the desire to show off and to receive praise from people. No! My aim is to dedicate myself totally to God in Religious Congregation which will enable me to do so.” Eventually, Catherine was allowed by her family to join the White Sisters in 1894.

Coincidently when Archbishop Streicher went to North Africa to ask for helpers from the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Africa, Catherine, by then called Mechtilde was among the 6 White Sisters who came to Uganda 18th October 1899.

Gradually, the girls began to ask the White Sisters whether Religious Life was only for the white women, or was it possible for the black women as well. The White Sisters’ reply was: “God does not discriminate among people or among nations. You can enter Religious Life, if God calls you.

Then the girls full of joy went to Archbishop Steircher and said to him: “Your Lordship, we too, would like to be like our “mothers”, (The White Sisters). We have talked to them and they said it is possible.”

Bishop Streicher decided to select about 20 candidates with whom to start the formation of the Bannabikira Congregation but Mother Mechtilde said that the number was too big for a new beginning. Hence in 1908 eleven young women were called to start the initial formation for religious life. Mother Mechitilde was the Novice Mistress assisted by Sisters Dorothy and Estella.

When Mother Mechtilde died 1950 the Congregation had 600 members now we are 730 in 73 convents located in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

On 16th January 1958,Under the leadership of Mother Antoneitta, The Holy Father, Pope Pius XII raised the Bannabikira’s Congregation to the Pontifical level.

On 3rd December 2010 we cerebrated 100 years of our existance.

Click here to down the Book about the cerebrations .

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Jesus says to every Munnabikira:
Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptize them in the name of Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commandments.” Matthew: 28:20

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Health Ministry

“May they have life to the full”. John:

Health ministry is as old as the congregation itself. Since we are guided by the spirit of motherhood, each Munnabikira Sister must have a basic knowledge of health care.

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In this area the Bannabikira sisters are called to work with women’s groups in clubs, teach in vocational schools, to reach out to children and people with disabilities such as the deaf and mute,

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