AFRICA/UGANDA - The Camillian presence makes the faith journey of the entire community grow

Thursday, 1 February 2024

Masaka (Agenzia Fides) - In the year of the 25th anniversary of the arrival of the Camillians in Uganda (2024-2025), the Order of Ministers of the Sick, rooted in the charism of the Order's founder and Saint Camillus of Lellis, continues to expand its presence in the African country. This is another milestone in the memory and history of religious people in Uganda. The event was celebrated on January 12 at the initiative of the Bishop of Masaka Diocese, Serverus Jjumba. "This house could become the headquarters of the Camillian novitiate community in Uganda," says the statement sent to Fides. In his homily, the Bishop expressed the joy of the entire diocesan community at the presence of the Camillians and invited all those present to walk the "path of faith" with enthusiasm. At the end of the liturgical celebration, Bishop Jjumba and the other participants, including Father James, the diocesan coordinator for pastoral care, Father Kizito, the vicar for consecrated life, several parish priests from the area, representatives of the local government administration and all the Camillian confreres in Uganda, planted some fruit trees, as a symbolic gesture of life and growth. The superior of the Camillian Mission, Father Babychan Pazhanilath, presented the bishop with a goat as a sign of appreciation for his presence and welcome. Today, the Camillian Mission in Uganda, with the communities in Jinja, Masaka and Fortportal, has suitable structures to accompany the training path of the new generations of Camillians. Currently, the Camillians in Uganda number six religious in perpetual vows, nine religious in temporary vows, three novices, eight students of philosophy and eight aspirants. "The Camillian Mission in Uganda has expressed its gratitude to the 'Lord of the Harvest' and the Irish Camillian delegation, who have always supported the Ugandan Camillian Foundation, for the construction of this house," the statement continued. After a dissolute youth, the founder of the Camillian order was converted on February 2, 1575. In August 1582, the patron saint of the sick, nurses and hospitals founded the "Society of Servants of the Sick", whose first statutes were approved by Pope Sixtus V on March 18, 1586. On September 21, 1591 it was recognized as a religious order by Pope Gregory XIV. On December 8, 1591, Camillus and his first companions took the solemn vows of the order and took a fourth vow, namely to care for the sick, even at the risk of their lives. A new religious order was born. Camillus was beatified on April 7, 1742 by Benedict XIV, who canonized him on June 29, 1746. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 1/2/2024)