Twenty years ago, the confreres of the Province of St. Anthony and Bl. James of Strepar in Poland (Cracow) came to Uganda to preach the Good News and spread the Franciscan charism.
Currently the Provincial Delegation in Uganda has three friaries. The first was erected in 2001, in Kakooge. It is the seat of the novitiate. The second was erected in 2010, in Matugga. The third was erected in 2013, in Munyonyo, a district of Kampala, the capital of the country. It is the seat of the postulancy program and is known mainly as the Shrine of the Ugandan Martyrs. One should mention that Uganda has two shrines dedicated to these saints. One is located in Namugongo, the place where they were martyred, and the other was built by the friars in Munyonyo, the place where St. Charles Lwanga and Companions started out on their death march. On April 22, 2021, the friars celebrated the 20th anniversary of their mission in Uganda at this site which is so important for the Church in Uganda and for all of Africa.
Those attending the anniversary celebrations included the Most Reverend Paul SSEMOGERERE, Bishop of Kasana-Luweero, Uganda, and Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Kampala; the Minister General, Friar Carlos TROVARELLI; the Minister Provincial of the Province of Cracow, and a former missionary in Uganda, Friar Marian GOŁĄB; the Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Francis of Assisi in Kenya, Friar Obed Muriungi KAROBIA; the Secretary General for Missionary Animation, Friar Dariusz MAZUREK; and the Secretary for Missionary Animation for the Province of Cracow, Friar Dariusz GACZYŃSKI. Many local priests and friars from other Franciscan families also participated, along with numerous other religious and parishioners from our three communities. Mass was celebrated presided over by the bishop. Afterwards, everyone continued to celebrate with a festive meal, which included lots of singing in English and in the local language, Luganda.
The following morning, the Minister General planted a tree to commemorate his visit to this special place, thus continuing the tradition of important figures planting trees on the grounds of the Shrine.
Over the course of twenty years, more than twenty friars have served in the Delegation. They carried out their mission by proclaiming the Gospel, giving witness through their lives and their preaching of the Word of God, celebrating the sacraments in parish churches and chapels, as well as doing charitable works, such as serving in schools, kindergartens and health centers.
The missionary friars in this country, called the “Pearl of Africa,” send their warmest regards.
Friar Dariusz MAZUREK