Opened the Door to Serving the Poor

Opened the Door to Serving the Poor

After years of working with Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales (MSFS) priests and seminarians in India, our partnership with the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales has opened the door to serving the poor in Uganda in 2019. In 2020, work in Uganda expanded to supporting St. Philomena School, which serves 450 students, many of whom are orphans.

Giving Reliable Source of Transportation

Giving Reliable Source of Transportation

Dedicated Priests on Bikes!

Where: The Masaka Diocese

Who: Fr. Augustine Masaka

What: Pastoral vehicle

When: 2022

The Impact: In addition to celebrating Mass for the Parish, priests have various pastoral responsibilities such as visiting the sick, tending to the schools, counseling the people of the parish, being involved in ministry, and other chaplain services.

The Masaka Diocese in Kampala, Uganda has 16 sub parishes and 63 schools. That means the dedicated priests have 20,000 parishioners to serve. Unfortunately, the priests do not have a reliable source of transportation. Regardless, the determined priests tirelessly ride bicycles, even in the rain, and often get stranded on the way to serving their diocese.

Through your bountiful support, we have provided the priests with a new vehicle! See the Updates Tab to learn more…

A Vehicle for Pastoral Work!

2022

Through your faithful generosity, the priests now have a reliable car to help them serve their parishes, schools, and entire community without the panic of step one – arriving safely and on time. Rev. Fr. Augustine and all of the priests in the Masaka Diocese send their sincere thanks for your support!

Building a School for Children

Building a School for Children

Building a School for Ambitious Children

St. Mary’s Primary School in Kampala, Uganda is home to many bright children who are committed to earning an education. Unfortunately, the school structures are in desperate need of renovations to create a safe environment for minds to flourish.

Each morning, these young and ambitious students walk into a school building that resembles a weathered barn held together by uneven slat walls and a tin roof. Dozens of children crowd together, kneeling on dirt floors and exposed to the elements, because of their desire to receive a Catholic education. Admirably, none of the adversities stop the persistent children from working hard with a joyous attitude.

Now, we have an opportunity to provide these dedicated students with the safe school building that they deserve!

Connected to the Bukuumi Catholic Parish, there is an unfinished structure that is intended to replace the existing school building. Father Francis Banura Kaboha, the Priest of Bukuumi Catholic Parish, is humbly asking for Catholic World Mission’s assistance in completing the renovations so the elementary-school students can attend a safe and fully constructed school where they can thrive educationally and spiritually.

Help us build St. Mary's school in Uganda

Fr. Paul Flood, pastor, St. Benedict’s Catholic Church; Fr. Francis Banura Kaboha, St. Mary’s School, Bukuumi; Deacon Rick Medina, Catholic World Mission.

St. Mary's School in Uganda needs your help

St. Mary’s Primary School in Uganda desperately needs renovations.

St. Mary’s Primary School is Now Properly Furnished!

June 2022

Thanks to your support, St. Mary’s Primary School is now properly furnished! Before the new furniture, the young students would crowd together and kneel on dirt floors all school day. Now, the newly renovated classrooms are stocked with individual chairs and desks so these dedicated children can learn in a safe, comfortable, and dignified environment. Along with providing desks for each of the students, your abundant generosity allowed us to provide office tables and chairs for the hardworking faculty and staff too! 

The students and teachers of St. Mary’s Primary School now have a safe place to thrive educationally and spiritually. With our most sincere gratitude and on behalf of St. Mary’s Primary School and the Bukuumi Catholic Parish, THANK YOU for making this possible.       

Comparission between the new and old classroom blocks.

Pupils revising their books after class sessions on the verander of the new classroom block.

BEFORE

This is Primary two class in the old classroom structure.

Pupils in Primary one class in the old classroom block.

Fr. Francis with pupils in Primary three classroom in the old classroom block.

AFTER

Pupils revising their books after class sessions on the verander of the new classroom block.

Primary seven pupils attending a class session with new furniture in the new classroom block.

The Head teacher in his office in the new classroom and office block.

The Construction of St. Mary’s Primary School is Complete!

December 2021

We are overjoyed to share that the construction of St. Mary’s Primary School is complete! Thanks to your generosity, the building now has a reliable structure with tiled floors, brick and plastered walls, ventilated windows, and a sturdy roof. With the building complete, the students will no longer be exposed to the outside elements and can focus on receiving their Catholic education. The next step is to furnish the classrooms.

Thanks to your generosity, St. Mary's School in Uganda now has a reliable structure

A brand-new school for these very deserving students.

Thanks to your generosity, St. Mary's School in Uganda now has a reliable structure

The students of St. Mary’s are thankful for the Catholic World Mission’s assistance in completing their new school. Now they can attend a safe and fully constructed school where they can thrive educationally and spiritually.

Thanks to your generosity, St. Mary's School in Uganda now has a reliable structure
Thanks to your generosity, St. Mary's School in Uganda now has a reliable structure
Thanks to your generosity, St. Mary's School in Uganda now has a reliable structure
Thanks to your generosity, St. Mary's School in Uganda now has a reliable structure
Thanks to your generosity, St. Mary's School in Uganda now has a reliable structure

Help Shape Her Future

Help Shape Her Future

More than a Place to Learn

In many places around the world a typical 12-year-old girl is preparing for the school day by gathering materials for classes and fitting them in a backpack. Even if she is attending virtually – she is connected.  She fills her days working on academics as well as developing the social skills that she will need for her adult life.

Twelve-year-old Jane’s life is not typical. She fled a brutal war in South Sudan and now lives in a bleak refugee settlement in Northern Uganda. For a time, she did not attend school. When she was able to join a primary school that provides free education to underprivileged children, Jane saw a chance for a better future. But then the pandemic shut down the program and robbed her of that dream.

Without access to electricity or the internet, students here cannot attend remote lessons provided by the government on television. The education stops. No learning is taking place. Social skills vital to independence and survival vanish. School closures have hit girls from the least-developed regions of the community the hardest, heightening their risks for early or forced marriages.

Many girls like her are now at home, unable to continue their education. Without support from Catholic World Mission and our friends like you, most of these girls will never return to school again. Many will be forced into early marriage.

Like many schools around the world, schools in Uganda are more than a place to learn – they’re a safe place for vulnerable children living in poverty. They provide security and protection against violence and abuse. Unfortunately, the school closures have gravely impacted so many children – especially girls.

With Keep Girls in Education project, y can empower these vulnerable girls
With Keep Girls in Education project, y can empower these vulnerable girls

Give gifts of Physical and Spiritual Nourishment

Give gifts of Physical and Spiritual Nourishment

Broadcast the Mass

With the loss of jobs and lockdowns, each family member works to survive in Namwendwa. Parents, many of who are single mothers, seek ways to earn a living wage. Children, shut out of schools, take to the streets to sell fruit. Grandparents are left in charge of the children. These grandparents sometimes do not eat, putting others in the family first when food is scarce.Without access to masks, soaps, or sanitizers for protection it leaves grandparents, like 95-year-old Mbwali Teopista, left vulnerable to the virus.

There are hundreds of families in the Jinja Diocese in dire need of food staples like maize, flour, beans, and salt. There’s also a high demand for masks, soap, and cleansers so these families can maintain proper sanitation and safety.

Monsignor Paul Musana hears how weary parishioners are without access to the Mass, community, and pastoral care. It is during indescribably difficult times such as now when the Gospel of Jesus Christ is desperately needed.

“Your support will enable our parish to pay for radio airtime. The Mass, celebrated by priests, will be broadcast live on radio sharing the message of Christ. We can restore hope, build resilience, and instruct the population without sectarianism to prevent further damage for the future of the people of God.” – Monsignor Paul

Young children sell vegetables, bananas, and berries in the village.

Ninety-five-year-old Teopista and her grandchildren

“This morning I saw kids at the trading center selling vegetables to make ends meet for their families.” Msgr. Paul Musana

Radio-Broadcasted Mass

June 2021

St. Joseph Balikuddembe Catholic Church in Namwendwa is abundantly grateful for the selfless donors who have been able to bring the radio-broadcasted mass into the Diocese of Jinja.

The mass has been airing on the radio for over four months and brings forth joy and hope during an exceptionally difficult time. On June 6th, a second lockdown was put into place for Uganda. While under the enforcement of the lockdown no one can gather in a church unless it is to attend a funeral.

We bought blue and black masks and liquid soap which were distributed to the families.

Teopista always has a sense of humor despite the pandemic effects and a nice storyteller.

Some of the representatives who received the food, masks and sanitizers.

Not only has the parish been hard at work in spreading the gospel, but they have also been distributing much-needed food, masks, and sanitizers to 300 families in the area.

Familiar faces featured in the campaign, including the woman in the red shirt and the children of Namwendwa, continue to be positively impacted by the broadcasted mass. They thank Catholic World Mission for this blessing of a gift as they face disastrous effects from the pandemic.

Monsignor Paul Musana shares that he wants to,“…keep thanking the almighty God who channeled the response from you people. For sure the people are benefitting. And as a pastoral worker I feel empowered.”

Building a Dining Hall

Building a Dining Hall

Students Have No Choice but to Eat Their Meals on the Ground

In the 90s and early 2000s, this rural corner of Uganda was hit hard by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, leaving behind many broken families and a vast number of orphans. In 2010, Stephen Ssematiko decided to open a primary school in order to prevent the younger generation from growing up without an education.

Stephen shared his dream with his father, Vincent, who donated the land for the school. In 2015, St. Philomena School opened with only one classroom.

St. Philomena School Survives with No Government Funding.

From the beginning, Stephen has been adamant about not receiving government funding. His dad was skeptical.

“How will you manage without government funding?” Vincent asked.

“God will provide,” Stephen responded. “We have to pray and we will answer his call.”

In 2016, Vincent donated more land so they could build a church as well. They wanted to teach the children to read and write, but they also knew how crucial it was to teach the children about the love of God, too.

Today, the school and its little church have become the cornerstone of this community. The school currently has 450 students, with more wanting to enroll every year.

Academically, the school is thriving. In 2018, St. Philomena ranked 4th in the region on national exams! Mass is celebrated at the school every Wednesday, and the entire village is invited to join.

This school has really done amazing things in just a few short years! And today, the students have one pressing need above all others: they need a dining hall.

Children of School Eat their Daily Meal on the Ground

Today, the children of St. Philomena School eat their daily meal outside, on the ground.

The lucky ones are able to find a rock to sit on, but everyone else has to sit on the ground–right in the dirt, or on scraggly patches of grass. Their nutritious food is then exposed to dirt and insects. This is a major health concern!

A health inspector recently visited the school and said it’s imperative St. Philomena School builds a proper dining hall. Plans were drawn up. They’re truly impressive: when completed, this dining hall will accomodate 500 students and will be built to last 80-100 years. Students will have access to wash stations, their food will be stored safely, and best of all–they’ll be able to enjoy their meals at a table with chairs!

Here’s a Peek at the Construction Progress

Winter 2020

Help Build a Church for Remote Village

Help Build a Church for Remote Village

Under the Shade of a Mango Tree for Mass

In a tiny village in eastern Uganda, 423 Catholics gather under the shade of a mango tree for Mass.

That’s because they have no church structure of their own. Many of these worshippers are elderly and can’t make the trek to the parish church in the next town over, 2.5 miles away.

So every Sunday, Fr. Sunny Mattathil, MSFS, comes to them. He celebrates Mass under the mango tree, and the people pray that one day, they’ll have a church of their own.

25,000 Handmade Bricks Destroyed in a Rainstorm

The villagers of Kyamwinula made 25,000 bricks by hand so they could build their church. People are very poor here. Most are subsistence farmers with little or nothing to spare. But they came together, made bricks for their church, and got ready to build.

Sadly, before they could cure the bricks, a rainstorm came a washed their work away. The bricks were destroyed.

The sad truth is, the villagers have nothing left to start over with. They have no resources to buy building materials. And they’re running out of time: the rainy season is about to start again. With no church structure to protect them from the elements, the rainy season will put this faith community in danger of losing hope.

What Will Happen if Doesn’t Get a Proper Church Building?

In Uganda, the rainy season lasts 8 months out of the year. While there are two “dry” seasons, the country experiences substantial rainfall even during those seasons.

Can you image what it’s like to have Mass outside in the rain? People get soaked, clothes get drenched, and worse yet, the hosts used for communion would dissolve before the priest could even consecrate them.

In short, the rains effectively cut the villagers off from the Sacraments!

When the rains come…

  • Masses will be canceled.
  • Catechism classes will be called off.

The faith of 432 of our brothers and sisters in Christ will be in peril!

Nearby village church isn’t an option because the journey to get there is so dangerous.

Kyamwinula is an extremely remote village. The nearest church is only 2.5 miles away, but the terrain is rough and ragged—an impossible journey for villagers in Kyamwinula (most of whom are elderly or very young children) to make. It’s even more dangerous in the rain.

St. Teresa of Calcutta Church was Dedicated on the Feast of Christ the King

Fall 2020

Great Progress is Being Made

Spring 2020

Construction is Well Under Way

Fall 2019

Construction is well under way on St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church in Kyamwinula. Despite some delays from the rains, they’ve been able to make awesome progress.

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