By Mathias Mazinga, added 9th December 2016 01:37 PM
He explained that further to pioneering Catholic evangelism in Uganda, the White Fathers had also given holistic empowerment to many people, who subsequently influenced the steady growth and development of the Church and the country
The Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mbarara, the Most Rev. Paul Bakyenga has praised the Missionaries of Africa, popularly known as the White Fathers, for their enormous contribution to the spread of Catholicism in Uganda and Africa.
He explained that further to pioneering Catholic evangelism in Uganda, the White Fathers had also given holistic empowerment to many people, who subsequently influenced the steady growth and development of the Church and the country.
“I am one of the people that were educated and groomed by the White Fathers. Even after I became a priest, they gave me enormous help in my ministry. I am humbled to be associated with the congregation,” Bakyenga said.
Bakyenga made the remarks during the celebrations for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, at Lourdel House (the headquarters of the White Fathers) in Nsambya, on Thursday (December 8).
Bakyenga encouraged the White Fathers to continue spreading the gospel of Christ with dynamism, in spite of the enormous challenges of contemporary society.
During the function, the White Fathers honoured their confrere, Fr. Gerard Reynaert (91), who made 65 years of Missionary oath. They also congratulated Fr. Ferdinand Tillmann, who clocked 50 years in priesthood. Tillmann, who hails from Germany, is currently a lecturer of Holy Scripture and Systematic Theology at St. Mary’s National Major Seminary, Ggaba. Fr. Reynaert resides at Lourdel House, Nsambya.
The day of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is the annual fellowship day of the White Fathers. They celebrate it together with their relatives and friends.
This function on Thursday was also graced by the Uganda Sector Superior of the congregation, The Very Rev. Fr. Gerard Chabannon. The Superior of the East African Province of the White Fathers, the Very Rev. Fr. Charles Obanya (resident in Kenya), also attended the function.