Father Joseph told the meeting that he was delighted to be back in our parish, a place where he has many friends; he expressed his sincere thanks to the Council for assistance which they gave to him to enable him to pay for an operation for his father when he was seriously ill last year, thankfully the operation was a success and his father is doing well.
Father Joseph said that conditions were almost identical to those of Sister Margaret (see Zambia page) in his parish which was 70 miles from Kampala in Uganda – again the roads are mud and soil paths but they do allow travel by car which is far better than when he had to use a pedal cycle to get around the 50 sq. km area serving some 30,000 people!
The help from the Council did allow him to complete the building of a church which also functions as a clinic, meeting place, school and prayer groups – previously these were held in the open in the shade of trees in the area, and still are to some degree.
There are 25 outstations which Fathers Joseph and Simon have to look after, they are widely spread, sometimes 15/20 miles apart and the facilities there are limited.
The parishes look after children from primary school age to seniors who come from deprived backgrounds with bad housing and where over 90% of the people are Aids affected; again there is the difficulty of paying for education as some families here cannot pay – the priests often have to devise plans on how to pay the teacher! The lack of finance, food and medicines is great but they have access to a clinic run by 2 nuns which is hampered by the cost of drugs. But the parish are grateful for what they do receive from their friends in St Timothy’s and St Pauls parishes. The plans are to build a school but this will be a longer term project which will be tackled on a self build basis – much like the church!
The dream is to be able to have a school like one the children had the chance to visit, where they have proper classrooms, and even computers:
We have helped fund the building of a the new church thanks to Fr Joseph Busuulwa, the parish priest's enthusiasm, our supporters and those within St Paul's and St Timothy's parish here in Liverpool.
The church took a huge amount of effort to build, according to Fr Joseph, and it was daunting even after preparing the ground when the bricks were delivered:
The building work took many, many months, but eventually the walls and roof were nearing completion:
Finally, in June 2008, we received news that the church had been completed:
On behalf of Fr Joseph Busuulwa and all his parishioners, a big, heartfelt 'Thank You' to all the parishioners of St Paul's, who donated most generously towards the building of this wonderful Church. It has been officially consecrated on 15th June 2008.
St Luke Baanabakintu is one of Uganda's early martyrs. There is a little more information about him at the Ugandan Martyrs Shrine website here: http://www.ugandamartyrsshrine.org.ug/martyrs.php?id=11
We're not stopping here, we will support further developments in Fr Joseph's parish, starting with a project to build a new school. We shall publish more details as we find out more ourselves.Last updated 11.09.2010