The Mission Hub

The Pontifical Mission Societies include the Society for the
Propagation of the Faith, the Missionary Childhood Association, the Society of St.Peter Apostle, and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. These Societies promote a prayerfulmissionary spirit among baptized Catholics and to gather a fund of support for the evangelizing and pastoral programs of more than 1,150 local churches of the Developing World.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fr. Deo’s Mission of Gratitude

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of a visit from Fr. Deogratias Ekisa from the Archdiocese of Tororo, Uganda. Father was in Boston to speak on behalf of his Archdiocese at St. Patrick Parish in Roxbury as part of the Propagation’s Missionary Co Operative Program.

He spoke of his own parish life in Uganda, sharing the details of the differences and the similarities to parish life here in the Boston area.

Fr. Deo’s parish is considered a small one – there are 4000 members spread over 12 different locations – a main church and 11 mission stations, some of which are up to twenty miles apart. He serves them “as best he can”, he said, travelling between them on a motor scooter. Every Saturday, he spends the day at an outstation; on Sunday after 8 AM Sunday Mass in the main church, he heads to another. By splitting his time in this way, he makes it to every outstation about once every two or three months.

When he is not able to be at a particular place, a catechist gathers the parishioners in a small church, a classroom, or in some cases, under a tree for a Scripture lesson and a Communion Service.
Because his visits are infrequent, Fr. Deo takes care of all the sacramental needs of his people at once – he told us of a single Mass in which he had 100 First Communions, 60 Baptisms and a wedding!

Fr. Deo is grateful to have help from the Propagation of the Faith in the building of the small churches at his outstations; though tiny by our standards (some only 25 by 50 ft.), they allow hundreds of people to worship in a sanctified space. One of the locations now has a clinic and a growing school, all made possible by the generosity and prayers of our donors.

The message that Fr. Deo preached in Roxbury, however, was also one of similarities. The people of Tororo are “just like you”, he said, “trying to follow Jesus, living a normal life with the difficulties…and all the joys of life.”

To hear Fr. Deo, go to our channel, . You’ll find his videos there, reflecting on his parish life and his message to donors here in the U.S.
-Maureen Crowley Heil

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