MISSION APPEAL FOR THE DIOCESE OF FORT PORTAL, UGANDA
On Sunday, July 21, we welcomed Fr. Robert Byamukama to our parish of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes to make a Mission Appeal on behalf of his diocese of Fort Portal, Uganda. This is the annual visit of a missionary assigned to us by the Archdiocesan Missionary Co-operative Appeal. The bishop of Fort Portal, His Excellency Robert Muhiirwa, has sent ahead a letter of introduction for his missionary preachers, from which I quote:
Greetings Dear Friends:
I greet you in the Name of Our Lord! I wish to make a small write-up highlighting the need for the mission appeals in the different places in Boston.
Among the many pressing needs that our Diocese faces, the Diocese has chosen to give priority this year to the Construction of the Retirement House for the elderly and sick priests in Fort Portal Diocese. The Diocese finds it expensive to treat our priests and take care of them from different places. Having them in one place, which has a quick access to the hospital is our ideal, a reason why we have undertaken this project. Therefore, with little resource available for this project I request you people of goodwill to help and enable us with your support to care for our priests who have served the Church faithfully and diligently.
The opportunity for mission appeals for our diocese is of paramount importance. Through this co-operation we are helped to implement projects which, by our own effort, we are unable to complete. The majority of the Christians in Fort Portal Diocese are peasants whose incomes are very low, living under a dollar a day. This makes it very hard for them to support the diocesan projects. Our economy itself is unable to sustain the operations of the Church and its needs.
This project is phased given the enormous costs it involves. The first phase of the structure comprises an L-shaped house whose main components are 10 bedrooms, a chapel, and a dining room. We started off by constructing a slab for the entire house which successfully has been completed at a cost of UGX 210,000,000, the equivalent of US $58,333. This is by the efforts of the priests in the diocese and a few well-wishers who have contributed to this project.
Besides this, there are other challenges: the payment of seminarians’ tuition for their training, priests’ Health Insurance, the big challenge of refugees who come from the neighboring countries as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and South Sudan because of wars, and the many orphans (most of whom are of school-going age) whose parents have died because of wars and diseases like HIV/AIDS, and the cost of running three orphanage homes among others.
Through mission appeals we are able to meet some of these pressing needs that surround us. For this year, however, our main focus is on the construction of the house for the sick and elderly priests. We shall be very grateful to receive your generous support. Thank you.