Catholic World Mission in Uganda
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Uganda

Population: 40,853,749

Percent Below Poverty Line: 21.4%

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. Read more below.

Uganda

Population: 40,853,749

Percent Below Poverty Line: 21.4%

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. Read more below.

450 Students Have No Choice but to Eat Their Meals on the Ground – You Can Help!

“God will provide. We have to pray and answer his call.”

-Stephen Ssematiko

Stephen Ssematiko, left in blue, founded the school in 2015 to serve the vast number of children left orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

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, St. Philomena School is thriving! Students ranked 4th on national exams out of 120 regional schools. This accomplishment is huge, since the school has only been open for a handful of years!

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.

Help Build a Church for Remote Village

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

Our brothers and sisters in Kiyamwinula, Uganda celebrate Mass under the mango tree.

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.

We need to help build this church now.

Villagers came together to build 25,000 bricks to build a church. Rain destroyed the bricks before they could be cured.
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