Wednesday, 13 April 2016
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.
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|
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Family Visit in Western Uganda by Father Yago
|Fr. Yago with our candidate Collines Kananura|
|With our candidate Evaristo Rukundo and his mother|
Sunday, 3 April 2016
The fecundity of our Lenten period this year crested in a delectable solemnity that the whole church celebrated and in Lavigerie house, it was a vivacious celebration that marked a momentous shift from the long Lenten experience to a succulent period, a moment as bright as a button, a time as glorious as the sun and yet a moment as jubilant as the old sleigh bells.
Prior to the eventual celebration was the arrival of various visitors from various religious communities and next was the assembling to start the celebration. It commenced with the blessing of the fire to be used during Easter and the procession with the Paschal candle following the assuetude of the church. As the celebration continued, there was a great encomium acclaiming the Lord Jesus risen as the exultet was being chanted lively and in lentitude by a clued-up parcel of choir members from the students’ body.
|Blessing of the fire and singing of the Exulted|
Then all the readings cited for the vigil followed suit with psalms well chanted as lively as the cricket. The apple pie order came when the Gloria was sung making the moment of the resurrection a true credence and not just a confabulation of affirming that he has risen.
The main celebrant of this bravura solemnity was Fr. Yago Abeledo who with prodigious humour led the mass with solemn incantations in an immaculate voice like an angle. In his enthralling homily, the main celebrant reflected on the meaning of resurrection with much accentuation on living in the here and now of our lives using different mind-sets to deal with problems that deny us the joy of being resurrected people. Still in such an eximious homily, Fr. Yago emphasised the need to be human in imitation of Jesus. He said: "the man Jesus revealed such greatness and profundity in his humanity that at the end of a long process of meditation the apostles and those who knew him had to say: Only God himself could be so human. And they began to call him God". He thereby meant that in the resurrection event, God’s greatest communication to humanity took place, something worth celebrating as the resurrection of Jesus turned our crucifixions into life. He recapitulated his homily by exhorting the congregation to be people of light since they are the resurrected people and implored them to do this in the spirit of forgiveness, being in communion with all that exists since God’s land is where everything belongs.
With such a toothsome homily, the celebration proved a convivial moment that in this context would be rated interminable as witnessed by the grandiloquent praises that were going on to the Lord
|During the liturgical celebration. Blessing of water|
As the celebration was coalesced with the undenegated presence of various religious congregations, the night could not end without a singular gathering, one that witnessed the sharing of a delicious meal as one family of the resurrected people.
|Collines Kananura giving the Lavigerie Drum magazine to Gabriel Ouma|
This with the official launching of the annual magazine of Lavigerie House-LAVIGERIE DRUM coupled with the immense joy of resurrection made this moment a sempiternal and sebaceous moment of joy in Lavigerie House.
Saturday, 2 April 2016
What it is to be a person of the ‘towel and basin’!
On Easter Sunday 27th March 2016, Gabriel Ouma and I, who are the pastoral agents of St. Mary’s Kivubuka centre, Jinja Diocese, were privileged to go with Fr. Yago Abeledo, Br. Venancio Echevarria, and Sem. John Paul Ngabirano.
On arrival, the Christians happily welcomed us. Fr. Yago started administering the sacrament of reconciliation. Mass followed with 19 infants readily presented for baptism. During baptism, the main celebrant challenged parents to be role models to their children and all the other children as possible as they can. He further challenged parents to always know that their prime role as Catholics is proper upbringing of children in the Catholic faith. He also appealed to the godparents to not only help the baptised children materially but also in spiritual growth.
|Some members of the Christian community with seminarians Simon and Gabriel with Br. Veanacio and Fr. Yago|
|Brother Venancio sharing the Word of God|
|Fr. Yago giving the sacrament of Baptism|
|Visiting the elderly after Mass|
After mass we visited some Christians’ families. We managed to visit an old sick lady to whom Fr. Yago administered the sacrament of Anointing of the sick. Her family members were delighted and grateful for the restored new strength of the Risen Lord, to their family member. Christ is Risen indeed!
Simon Peter Kahinda
Friday, 1 April 2016
Easter Monday at Lavigerie House is usually a time for the first year students to have a trip to some of the historical faith sites, namely: Namugongo Martyrs Shrine, Kigungu landing Site, Mapeera-Nabulagala Parish and Munyonyo Shrine. This previous Easter Monday, ten first years accompanied by Fr. Yago Abeledo and three Servite Sisters visited the above sites.
|At Namugongo Shrine. The picture is taken where the Pope celebrated Mass last year's visit|
With the warm welcome of Fr. Lubega Vincent, M.Afr (Rector and Parish Priest of Namugongo Shrine) and Fr. Otto Katto (Vocations’ Animator) we toured the place. We admired the magnificent efforts and works transpiring. We also had the chase to visit and kiss the rock on which St. Charles Lwanga’s head is believed to have fallen on. This is where the altar of the basilica was constructed.
|Miscellaneous pictures of our pilgrimage|
Leaving Namugongo, we departed for Kigungu, the first place where Fr. Simeon Lourdel Mapeera and Br. Amans Delams landed on the 17th of February, 1879. Striking were the sculptures of the two, on their knees, praying and the story of how their canoe split into two just after they had landed. We then left for Mapeera-Nabulagala Parish where the first four baptisms were performed and the distribution of first Holy Communion during the celebration of the first 25th June, 1879. This was also the first mission in Uganda. Here we had mass celebrated by Fr. Otto Katto.
|At Munyoyo Shrine|
After touring the place, we moved on to visit Munyonyo Shrine, where the tomb of St. Andrea Kaggwa is, and this place is believed to be the place where the King, ‘Kabaka’, ordered the killing of the martyrs. We also got the onus to visit the new church under construction under the care of the Polish Franciscans. When all this was done, we traveled back to Jinja.