Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Family Visiting

At Lavigerie House, Jinja, we live with young people whose project is to consecrate their lives to God through the service of the Kingdom toward the African world, which now is bigger than Africa.

As formators, by living with students, we step by step learn to know them better. We interact with them and we share so many things together: prayers, meals, meetings, outings, etc.
This “knowing them” them seemed to me incomplete as long as we didn’t know the “sitz-in-leben” in which they were born and grew-up. That’s why this year, for Christmas holiday I thought of visiting some of the families of our candidates. 

What could seem funny to some is that I chose to visit the families in the absence of the seminarians themselves. But I think it’s good also to meet their families in that way.

December 13th, 2015:

In Ibanda parish, Mbarara archdiocese, visit in the family of Collines Kananura where they had, the previous day, the “introduction” of his elder sister who got married later on.

I had a nice chat with his father Philip, second from the right on the photograph, beside the mother...

With the members of the family of Collines Kananura. 

Among the boys, Collins is the first. In some families, the parents would not allow the first boy to join consecrated life... I asked Philip, he said: “If it is God’s call, let him go...”

The opening of the door for the year of Mercy at Ibanda Parish, the parish of Collins Kananura, in Mbarara Archdiocese.

December 14th, 2015:

Visit in the family of Evaristo Rukundo in Isingiro, Mbarara Archdiocese.

The mother of Evaristo promised to visit us in Jinja. It will be our joy to receive her one day in our community. 

In the family of Evaristo Rukundo. Lovely mother! She has really understood what hospitality means.

Then followed the visit in the family of Simon Peter Kahinda, where I was received so well by his father, a former soldier. Nice to listen to some stories from the army, some experiences, nice ones and some… painful. Paul, the father of Simon Peter, lives all that in the spirit of faith. At times lay people can teach us a lot in our journey of faith…

At Ruti, 4 km from Tobi-Kizza house, Mbarara.
Some lay people can teach us a lot in our journey of faith.

December 15th, 2015:

In the morning, visit to Simon, Moses’ father, at Kolanolia. He is also a soldier and is waiting for his retirement. He has travelled a lot in his military work. At last I met someone who has been to my country, the DRC… He could have told me plenty of stories had we had time… That will be for next time…

A soldier, with the son of a soldier… Soldiers are also missionaries, in their own ways…

From there, visit in John-Paul Ngabirano’s family at Kinoni, Rusheshe Parish, still in Mbarara Archdiocese. Nice to meet twins in the family, myself being a twin… It was not the first time that the family was receiving a Congolese: they received last year a Congolese from the Mill Hill formation house. John-Paul had invited him to spend his holidays in his family. In Jesus, people who did not know each other become brothers and friends…

Joy is visible on the faces of people here… In the family of John-Paul

December 16th, 2015: Kabale

Visit in the family of Crescent Niwamanya in Rushoroza, Kabale. Unbelievable: On my arrival in Kabale on the 15 th of November night, as I was looking for a filling station, I bought fuel at Stabex. The following day while visiting the Gubazire family, I realized that I was at a few meters from their home when I bought fuel. When I explained it to the “mzee”, he said: why didn’t you come and stay here? I said: “it will be for next time…”

With the parents of Crescent Niwamanya

Nice to be with the “wazee”, hoping to get some wisdom from them…

Mzei offered himself to accompany me  to Kagunga village, Rubanda parish. I think he was sent by God since I was asking myself how I will manage to ask people while I don’t speak the local language (Lunyankole - Lukiga)… The Mzei has really been my angel.

In the family of John Bosco Magezi, in Kagunga village, Rubanda parish, it has been an opportunity for the father of Crescent and the father of John Bosco to meet. And the local brew came to meet us as well… Wonderful!

In the family of John Bosco Magezi.

The family of John Bosco helped us to find the family of Ivan Mutekanga, who is doing his stage in the diocese of Kasongo, DRC.

Their son, Ugandan, is a missionary in DR Congo, and I, Congolese, am a missionary in Uganda. Che bello, as would say the Italians! How beautiful it is!

December 17th, 2015:

Visit in Moses Ariho’s family at Nyakagabagaba village, near Muhanga. To get the direction to Nyakagabagaba, I had to rely on an old lady who was going in the same direction. I gave her a lift. She doesn’t know English. We communicated using the language of natural and mutual understanding. She directed me on how to reach  Nyakagabagaba. There, nice meeting with Moses’ mum and younger sister.

With mother and younger sister of Moses

January 6th, 2016:

With Nicholas, a candidate of the Missionaries of Africa, we took the direction of Kasese. First stop at Kashekoro, in the family of Justus. Nice chat with his father and a sister-in-law.

From Kashekoro, we continue to Ndekye (Rubirizi district) in the family of John Agaba. There too, as in all the families, a warm welcome to us. We could not stay long since I was going to Kasese.

In the family of John Agaba, Ndekye.

It is from Ndekye that my guide and translator went back home to Isingiro parish. I continued alone.

January 7th, 2016:

Kasese was the last stage of family visitations. I visited the family of Matthew Ainomugisho.

In the family of Matthew, with his mother and brothers.

I wish I could visit the families of all our seminarians, but I am limited in time and space… Mpolampola…

In all these families, I have appreciated the sense of hospitality and generosity. In every family, some food and drinks were offered. I know some people would say that the Kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking…But, at times we need them too…

In every family they expressed their joy that I have visited them. Every meeting was concluded by prayer…

I feel like visiting them again… Sweet memories of all these families… May God bless them.

Cekoroba Arsène.

Family Visit in Western Uganda by Father Yago

Fr. Yago with our candidate Collines Kananura

With our candidate Evaristo Rukundo and his mother