Mrs. Edith Katama

On Wednesday 14th July at 6:30 pm, Edith Abwooli Katama passed away in Uganda, following a long illness. Edith and her late husband Sylvano Katama are the first members of Opus Dei in Uganda, which they discovered while on exile in Kenya from the early 1980’s.

Mrs Katama

The members of Opus Dei in Uganda can attest to owing a lot of what they currently enjoy in Teemba, Tusimba and Acike to her generosity and apostolic zeal.

In her moving tribute to her mother, Anna Katama begun by giving thanks for the life of her mother Edith and all the wonderful things that they have witnessed and learned from her. She referred to two texts of the scripture that meant a lot to Edith and characterised her life: Psalms 1[1] and Matthew 4:19[2].

The scriptural quote from the Psalms, which Edith learnt from her father and in turn passed on to her own children, was a reflection of her life, what she meant to her children and her fruitfulness, said Anna.

As a way of demonstration, Anna went on to enumerate several enterprises that her mother Edith engaged in as they (the children) were growing up. “She was a woman of huge ideas of all sorts and as much action. At different points in her life, she reared chicken, had a watch shop, grew, and sold flowers, men’s suits, perfumes and even huge saucepans which she sold in a huge storehouse somewhere. Her love for flowers stood out. One time when she had planted these flowers and needed to supply them while they were still fresh, she would have to cut them early morning, around 6 am, a task which the children took part in, though grudgingly because they had to get out of bed so early to do it.

Anna also described her late mother as a woman of faith who, stopped at nothing in bringing people closer to God. In this aspect, another text of the scripture that marked Edith’s life, Matthew 4:19 ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men’ clearly stands out. It was the reminder of her Christian vocation and her vocation to Opus Dei. Edith, who was raised and formed a home woven in prayer, became a Catholic and met Opus Dei during her stay in Kenya. Her faith and the discovery of her vocation as a supernumerary member of Opus Dei marked her life deeply. She did not live it alone but passed it too to her family.

“The knowledge that whatever work, event or circumstances one is facing can be offered to God has been an important orientation to all of us her children, even as we grew and moved in different ways” remarked Anna, who also thanks and attributes her sailing through the challenges she faced in her early years living in England to her mother’s prayers, faith and trust in God.

As she wound up, Anna could not help but mention the happy coincidence of her mother’s requiem Mass being on 16th July, the liturgical feast of, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, a devotion that her mother held dear and lived faithfully. She also read the tribute of Edith’s sister, who described Edith as a sister who was not only generous, optimistic and full of life, but also one who completed her.

Edith was laid to rest on 18th July in her home at Fort Portal in Uganda where the requiem Mass, streamed on zoom was celebrated. May her soul rest in peace.

[1] Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so but are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

[2] And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”