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Sr. Elizabeth Murphy  



It all began in 1948 when I entered the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa (FMSA) in Yorkshire England, to begin my Religious Formation. I made my first Profession in 8th May 1952.

In 1954 I began my First Missionary Journey to Uganda. There I was assigned to teach and administer in different Day and Boarding Schools: Namlyango Girls, Soroti and Lwala, each in a different language area.

Later I was asked to go to Bukedea Teacher Training Collage to teach English.

Then the need arose for someone to help out on the Religious formation Team of our Sister Congregation, the Little Sisters of St. Francis. That was my next assignment. I stayed there until I went for further Religious Training in Dublin.

In 1980, just after Independence I was asked to go to Zimbabwe to join Srs. Alcantara and Kathleen Hickey to help with the ongoing Formation of the Carmelite sisters. It was a wonderful experience for me and a challenge. When this project was completed Mr Chinamasa, (Headmaster), Sr. Eunice and I were the first teachers in the newly opened St. Dominic’s High School. This appointment did not last long for me as St Benedict’s Mission was reopening and Sr. Kathleen and I were on the move again. I stayed there for eight years teaching O Level Scripture, English and History. 

My next move was to St Andrews Marange where I taught at Mweya Mutsvene (Holy Spirit) Secondary School. With the Spiritan Fathers we worked tirelessly for community development. I stayed for five years.

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South Africa had obtained Independence and there was a great drive for Education especially in Literacy.  The local people in Apel which is outside Petersburg requested help in Adult Literacy. Following my studies in adult literacy I set up a programme with two young women, Margret and Eva. Together we managed to get our first class to sit for a literacy examination. This was a great cause of joy. The time came to move on when my fellow teachers qualified with UNISA as literacy teachers and could continue with the project on their own.

My next assignment was to join the FMSA in Kenya where I journeyed with our young sisters in formation and visited many schools with the Education For Life programme. In 2002 I was invited back to Zimbabwe to help in setting up the Youth Alive project in Mutare. I am now in my tenth year here. 

I have always tried to keep abreast with the current educational and spiritual demands that helped in my journey as a missionary. 

Finally, I think of my family who have nurtured me and allowed me to follow my dream. They have continued to support my many ministries up to this day. I ask God to grant eternal rest to my parents, brothers and sisters and to bless all my family members. I am very grateful to my Congregation and my sisters who have journeyed with me down through the years. Then there are the thousands of my students and friends who have taught me so much, I am so grateful for their kindness and support.

Sr. Elizabeth Murphy FMSA