Launched Catholic Sisters’ Communication Network in Kenya Opportunity to Share Stories, Foster Unity: Pioneer Trainees

The newly launched Communication Network for Catholic Sisters (CNCS) in Kenya provides an opportunity for women Religious in the East African nation to share their experiences and accomplishments with the rest of the world, pioneer trainees of the initiative of the Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya (AOSK) have said.

The initiative that is being realized in partnership with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was launched in Nairobi on June 14 following a two-day workshop that involved the training of 13 Catholic Sisters drawn from AOSK member Congregations.

Speaking to ACI Africa on the sidelines of the launch at the Radix Hotel in Karen, Nairobi, Sr. Mary Santrina Tumusiime said, “Sisters are already doing a lot of work in the community, particularly in social transformation; but no one is sharing these stories with the world. It is up to us to tell our own stories to the world.”

Sr. Mary Santrina (second row with short hair). Credit: ACI Africa

Through CNCS, Sr. Santrina said, “we are now going to have an opportunity where we will be able to move to different places and communicate the stories we want to the world.”


Credit: ACI Africa

“If we don’t tell the stories ourselves, someone will tell them and might do it in a distorted manner,” the Ugandan-born member of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (I.B.V.M.), commonly known as the Loreto Sisters, told ACI Africa during the June 14 interview.

She recognized the evolving nature of human communication, adding that women Religious cannot ignore the sharing of information that has become a key characteristic of human societies.

Credit: ACI Africa

“If people in mainstream and secular media are sharing their stories, why don't we in religious circles share ours? That's why CNCS is stepping up to support the Sisters' work and help them voice their stories,” the Nairobi-based Loretto Sister told ACI Africa.

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Sr. Mary Santrina (in navy blue)

On how Catholic Sisters are to participate in the CNCS initiative, she said, “We’ll work and then share the story of joy and hope with the world, telling how God, through the Sisters, has touched His people.”

Sr. Santrina thanked the organizers of the training that preceded the CNCS launch, and highlighted input on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and social media management as having been important.

Credit: ACI Africa

“As Sisters, we should not fear the risks of social media, such as cyberbullying. Instead, we should proactively counteract negative trends on these platforms,” she said, adding, “By responsibly engaging on social media, we can create alternative content that opposes the secular content dominating media channels.”


The Loretto Sister, who has been behind a number of gospel songs called upon women Religious to creatively make good use of the digital technology to evangelize the 21st Century society.

She added, “We need to sensitize more Sisters about the issue of AI tools and how to use them in our work so that even those who didn’t know they are using the tools can know that they are already using it and there is much more they can explore.”

Credit: ACI Africa

Also speaking to ACI Africa, the Director of Waumini Radio of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), Sr. Adelaide Felicitas Ndilu, said that CNCS will not only offer an opportunity for Catholic Sisters in Kenya to tell their stories but also foster unity among them.

“Sisters are actively engaged in numerous endeavours, yet their voices often go unheard; very few people know about their work; we aim to use this platform to share the stories of the Sisters,” Sr. Adelaide said.

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As Sisters, the Kenyan-born member of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) said, “we belong to different Congregations; this initiative brings us together to work for a common good.”

Credit: ACI Africa

Through CNCS initiative, she said, “we can stand together and (criticize) when particular politicians are not fulfilling their elected responsibilities; and we can also commend them when they perform well.”

Director of Waumini Radio, who also serves as the National Executive Secretary of KCCB’s Commission for Social Communications since her appointment in February 2020 said she found the training ahead of the CNCS launch helpful.

“We have learned about some AI tools such as ChatGPT that can help in arranging work very well, in editing and in translating text from one language to the other; so this will ease our work,” Sr. Adelaide told ACI Africa during the June 14 interview.

Credit: ACI Africa

She went on to encourage women Religious in various professions such as education and health to consider engaging AI tools.

“The technology is constantly evolving, and we cannot afford to fall behind; we must move with the signs of the times,” Sr. Adelaide said, and recalled, “During the training, we were also taught about the importance of using social media to evangelize as Sisters and to reach out to young people with Christian values and virtues.”

Credit: ACI Africa

The IHM member, who serves as a Consulter of the Vatican Dicastery for communication since her appointment in September 2022 cautioned women Religious against fear to engage Social Media, and urged them to participate in telling their respective stories.

“Sisters should speak freely when approached for interviews because if we remain silent, others will speak on our behalf,” she said, and posed, “Why shouldn't we amplify our voices?”

“Let's not fear the media; the media, especially the Church's media, is our ally,” Sr. Adelaide told ACI Africa on the sidelines of the CNCS launch in Nairobi on June 14.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.