Sr. Francisca Kaesa is a member of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters.
She was a missionary in Tanzania and while there developed an interest in Natural Medicines. She was sponsored to attend one of the REAP/anamed Natural Medicines seminars in November 2016. She was an extremely active participant during that seminar, and a very keen learner.
Having completed the seminar she was very keen to put what she had learnt into practice on returning to her community. Upon her request the Priory House set aside a half acre plot specifically for developing a medicinal garden known as the St Hildegard Herbal Garden.
Immediately she started work and laid out the garden and started planting a range of herbal plants amongst the fruit trees already planted there.
She visited the REAP garden in Kajulu, near Kisumu, and came back with many plants which she added to her garden. It has been an inspiration to see the way that she has developed that garden in just over two years.
When we were planning for a seminar in May 2018, we decided that Sr. Francesca’s garden was an ideal resource to back up our training, so we decided to book the centre for that seminar.
As we explored the possibility, we realised that the Congregation had fully come on board behind her ministry and she also had the St Lioba block house devoted to the work.
For the last three seminars, we have been able to use this facility. It includes a friendly meeting room where we conduct the plenary teaching, a kitchen where herbal teas etc can be prepared and a sitting room for relaxing in during the breaks. It also has a veranda which makes an ideal location for all the afternoon practical sessions. The garden is both an onsite source of fresh plant materials for teaching and also a great open-air classroom for exposure to the wonder of God’s creation of medicinal plants.
The Subiaco Centre has comfortable accommodation and is a popular centre for seminars and meetings. Those who visit enjoy the ambiance and often end up visiting the medicinal garden.
Sr. Francisca has become well known as a source of medicinal plants, treatments and knowledge, and people come to learn from her. Since she has attended more than three of her seminars, she is an accredited Trainer of Trainers (ToT). She has been referring many to us, and about half the participants at the last seminar were referred through her. She is indeed an A* student and a great inspiration to many, enabling the message we are sharing to get to so many more.