Saturday, 25 March 2017

RUBAGA STUDENTS CENTRE


Seminarians Nicholas Musasizi and Ivodious Lihiru with Fr. Yago at Rubaga Students Center

Many people have different things that bring them joy; but what brings me joy is being with children. Every Sunday is a fun filled day for me because it is the time that I come to be with these children. I do my pastoral work (Sunday School) at Rubaga Students Center with my brother seminarian Ivodius Lihiru. We are learning a lot from these kids in all ways, spiritually and socially. Even though some times there are many challenges but by the grace of God we keep moving on. It is not easy to deal with young children but we try our best so as to bring them closer to the light of God. They will be the future leaders in the Church and so they need to know God. You can be born from a family where members have faith but that doesn't grant you automatically that faith, but it could lay a foundation for your believing. 

The decreasing numbers of these children when it is time for boarding school becomes a challenge to our service. Their age is also another challenge because sometimes we have those who are not yet talking and this makes it difficult when we are preparing for a performance at mass. This performance is often composed of two songs and a play based on the readings of the day. This has also brought us closer to the scriptures. The play helps the children to  better understand the readings, and to be challenged by them. 



Musasizi Nicholus

OUR PASTORAL AT JINJA VOCATIONAL TRAINING INSTITUTE

The Transfiguration (Koder)
Jinja Vocational Training Institute is one of the places where candidates of Missionaries of Africa are doing their pastoral work on Sundays. Patrick Muema and myself (Christian Ngoitanile) are doing pastoral in this place. The major work in the apostolate is the service to the students, especially catholic students. We also share the Holy Eucharist. Apart from service we also pray together the rosary and praise and worship God. Moreover we also help other students who want baptism and confirmation by communicating to the priests in charge. In a special way we are concerned with the liturgy by bringing with us the piano. In that way we beautify the liturgy during the service or mass.


In addition there has been a tradition of inviting formators to see our pastoral areas and what we do always. This time was Fr. Yago Abeledo who was invited. He was welcomed by the students of JVTI. He celebrated the Eucharist on the second Sunday of Lent. The students will not forget him by his beautiful homily from Mt. 17; 1-9s. 

Seminarians Patrick and Christian with Fr. Yago and the students at Jinja Vocational Training Institute

They were happy to receive the priest on that day. He preached that the practical aspect of the transfiguration was that by our life example we have to transfigure to one another so that to bring light into our relationships. We have to be example to one another by our actions in this time of Lent. Our lives should inspire others to follow God. The message for Lent was that by inspiring others we animate them to be and do good. At the end of the celebration we took the photo with the main celebrant and the students who attended the service. 



Christian Ngoitanile

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Continuity of Lent as a Feast


Most times when we talk about fasting, some Christians tend to think of not eating. Some may fast because it is the Lenten season in the Catholic Church. Borrowing the words of Fr. Kapya, M.Afr; he invited us to use this season as the only time to Truly practice the Gospel. 


Some of us who are Christians tend to live the Gospel theoretically, for example by praying for people who have no food. This time, we ought to really feel what it means and how it feels when the poor servants of God lack food. This however should be for a great transition to our lives, that is, “from fasting to feasting” as Fr. Wynand, a MillHill Missionary Priest, said.


KAHINDA SIMON PETER.

LET US JOURNEY WITH HIM

Friday evenings are chances to embark on our journey of accompaniment for a fundamental gain which is spiritual nourishing. As Jesus commenced his journey to Calvary, we journey with him also. During this time of lent, we carry our own worries, disappointments, fears and torments in communion with Jesus in the painful experience that yielded joy and happiness to humanity. We are all invited to put ourselves at his feet in a humble and prayerful manner. It is all for our own benefit and of the whole world.

As Lavigerie fraternity in Jinja Formation House, it is an important moment to have the privilege to discern consciously God’s call and all He is doing in our lives. It is not a solicitation to comfortable life, we are called upon to take up our crosses and face the reality of life along Jesus just like in the way to Calvary. It is an invitation especially during this lantern season, to be much in line with the three pillars of this season; prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

May this time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving be a resourceful experience for all, both directly and indirectly. May He, the merciful Father, grant us the grace to learn to forgive and to do good especially this special moment in our church’s’ calendar. And above all, may we attain the GREAT HAPPINESS in Him who came to redeem us.


NAMANYA JUSTUS.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

The Beauty of Interreligious Dialogue (IRD)



Interreligious Dialgue is one of the precious and enjoyable apostolates we engage in here at Lavigerie Formation House. It is experienced through many dimensions: experts, social action, spiritual experience and life. We usually encounter people of other faiths in our apostolates like Makenke Slum, Jinja Hospital, and Home of Hope etc.  Dialogue for Experts is usually through encountering the spiritual leaders of other faiths like Islam, Hinduism. The content discussed here concerns the deepening of knowledge of the basic beliefs of the other. The Dialogue for Social Action is geared at promoting peace and justice in our society. In addition, the Dialogue of Spiritual Experience aims at enriching the other’s spiritual life by borrowing some practices from the other religion. This is in view of helping one pray or meditate better. It is not for one to abandon one’s own beliefs, which is closely leading to proselytism, which is never the aim of this encounter. Finally, the Dialogue of Life combines all the above.  



Here in Jinja, we are offered this as an elective course at PCJ. The knowledge acquired from this, has offered us the opportunity to easily understand the other religion practitioners, and the best way to mingle with them. The dialogue is not aimed at proselytism, conversion of the other, and neither is it centered on defending one’s faith. Rather, we are driven by the passion to witness to the love of Christ as Christians. This fosters the promotion of human dignity, peace and justice which is more in line with the charism of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa; Caritas. This enables us be more missionary than clerical as the recently concluded chapter stipulates it.

Ainomugisha Matthew  

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE PIONEER MISSIONARIES IN UGANDA

Cekoroba
It was on the 9th March, 2017 that a multitude of the PCJ – Philosophy Centre Jinja family congregated to reflect and meditate on the theme; “In the footsteps of the pioneer missionaries in Uganda.” The day was graced by the presence of the guest speaker, Fr. Richard Nyombi M.Afr. He was particularly introduced to commence the seminar by the rector of Lavigerie formation house-Jinja in the following manner: “I invite Fr. Richard Nyombi to take us into the beautiful reminiscence of our pioneer missionaries; Fr. Lourdel, Br. Amans and Mother Kevin, as we eventually project ourselves into the future which we hope will culminate in the beatification of those who have made the pearl of Africa to be known as the land of the martyrs” (Cekoroba, 2017).

This opening statement was so rich and informed of the seminar’s theme. The mention of the Platonic literary genre takes us not only to history but historicity which is paramount in any discipline; he also highlighted the on-going process of investigation on the worth of these three for beatification and finally echoed what Uganda is paired with – land of the martyrs. All these aspects are part and parcel of what constituted the theme in congruence to the guest speaker’s key agenda.

Fr. Richard Nyombi, M.Afr.
He began by reminding the assembly of the history of evangelization in Uganda, with the White Fathers establishing their presence in Central and Western part early in 1879, Mill Hill Missionaries in the East in 1895 and the Comboni Missionaries in the North much later in 1910. This informs us that the White Fathers are the architect of Catholic Christianity in Uganda. This does not discount the vigorous role of the other religious congregations not mentioned herein.

Extensive as it was, the theme was condensed into six significant points. History has it that “Uganda is the pearl of Africa” (W. Churchill). This has remained enshrined hitherto. What is new is that the missionary work of these pioneer missionaries has yielded fruits for the universal church – the martyrs, giving Uganda a new name as the “Pearl of Africa and Land of the martyrs.” With martyrdom as the cream of witness, Mapeera is reported to have exclaimed: “We no longer need to envy any other mission, Uganda has her own martyrs!”

Sister Leone (Little Sisters of Saint Francis)
 introducing the life of Mother Kevin
Fr. Richard, too, articulated on whether or not we need Saints in our milieu. With reference to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 828, we realize that saints play a pivotal role in our lives as intercessors and companions, examples and models of holiness and are the source and origin of renewal. What ensued was the life and works of Mapeera, Amans and Mother Kevin. Mother Kevin, who was invited to Uganda by a Mill Hill Prelate (based in Uganda) in 1903, has had a visible contribution. To mention but a few, she established a number of health units including Nzambia hospital and several schools to address health and literary needs of the natives. Above all, Mother Kevin founded the congregation of the Little Sisters of St. Francis traditionally known as Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa. Mapeera was gifted: he was a diplomat, linguistic and a doctor. He enjoyed good acquaintance with the Kabaka of Buganda and was his personal doctor and friend. In a way, he represented the Catholic missionaries to Uganda. Amans and Mapeera are inseparable. The name Mapeera is a Baganda twist from ‘mon pere’ as Amans used to call Lourdel, ‘my father’. Though he seemed to be in the background, his hands and feet were soiled in tending to the different demands of the people in the apostolate. Amans is reported to have been a missionary of good character that one of the Uganda martyrs, John Mary before his death spoke of him as follows: “I want to be like Brother Amans.” Historically, Br. Amans was the first religious in Uganda, and the first to take his missionary oath in Uganda.

Unity among Mill Hill, Missionaries of Africa and Little Sisters of Saint Francis
 during the Eucharistic celebration

The cause for the Beatification of Mapeera, Amans and Mother Kevin was part of the day’s package. The audience was invited to be involved in this fundamental process with the hope that by reflecting on the outcome of the lives of the pioneer missionaries in Uganda, we may take their faith as our model. The guest speaker concluded by inviting the assembly to be part in the pilgrimage, which he compared with the encounter between Jesus and the disciples of John the Baptist. In response to their demand of where he lives, Jesus told them to ‘Come and See.’ They went, saw and returned to give witness to others. This must be the same for our pioneer missionaries in Uganda; we should be in touch with their history, emulate their example and faith, and give witness through their intercession.   


LONGOLI MICHAEL