Pilgrims by the thousands trek to Ugandan shrine to recall 22 martyrs

NAMUGONGO, Uganda — Walking more than 250 miles to keep a religious commitment is the least anyone can expect of Anna Aciro.

Aciro, 62, has walked the entire distance from Aru, a village in Congo, to the Uganda Martyrs Basilica and Shrine in Namugongo to honor the memory of 22 Catholic saints who lost their lives because of their faith from 1885 to 1887.

For Aciro, it's her second trek to the shrine, which is located near the capital of Kampala.

Faith group helps with purchase of land, plants in Uganda

Map of Uganda

The hard work and intense study at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary is nearly over for Deacon Joe Lugalambi, a native of Uganda who is serving at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Oakville.

He'll be ordained a priest in August in his home diocese and serve the people there.

Until recently, only a few people knew of some of the hardships that entails. Priests ordained for the Archdiocese of St. Louis have a place to live, a modest salary and benefits such as health care and a retirement plan. Not so for a priest in the Masaka Diocese in Africa where Deacon Lugalambi will serve.

St. Charles Borromeo students support school in Uganda

The answer was quick when St. Charles Borromeo School parent Stacey Iadezito came to principal Jackie Voelkl asking her help in raising funds to purchase mattresses for Broader Vision School in Uganda.

Certainly, or as Curly Howard from the Three Stooges would emphasize the affirmative, "Soi-ten-ly."

The students at the school in St. Charles responded enthusiastically as well, raising almost $2,230 for the school in Uganda, an archdiocesan Mission Office-sponsored program of Pan y Amor.

Catholic families ‘adopt’ international seminarians

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson ordained six men to the transitional diaconate on Saturday, April 30, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. He presented Laurent Okitakatski Odjango with a book of the Gospels commissioning him as a herald of Christ.

Three men from Africa who were ordained transitional deacons last week were cheered along by their "family" in attendance at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

Joseph Lugalambi and Matthias Njuba from the Diocese of Masaka, Uganda, and Laurent-Bernard Okitakatshi Odjango of the Diocese of Tshumbe, Democratic Republic of Congo, are among 15 international seminarians at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Shrewsbury.

Pope in Bangui: Open the doors of mercy, counter violence with love

Pope Francis opened the Holy Door at the start of a Mass with priests, religious, catechists and youths Nov. 29 at the cathedral in Bangui, Central African Republic.

BANGUI, Central African Republic -- Put down the weapons of war and work for justice, Pope Francis urged the people of the Central African Republic.

"Even when the powers of hell are unleashed, Christians must rise to the summons, their heads held high, and be ready to brave blows in this battle over which God will have the last word. And that word will be love and peace," the pope said in an evening homily Nov. 29 at Bangui's cathedral.

Honor your martyrs by putting faith into action, pope tells Ugandans

Pope Francis knelt in prayer Nov. 28 as he visits the Anglican martyrs' shrine at Namugongo in Kampala, Uganda.

KAMPALA, Uganda -- As Pope Francis encouraged Ugandan Christians to draw inspiration from the 19th-century Ugandan Martyrs, he carried with him graphic images of the horrors the 45 Anglican and Catholic martyrs endured.

The pope made an early morning visit Nov. 28 to the Anglican shrine and museum located on the site where many of the martyrs died. The main exhibit features realistic statues of men being tortured, bound and thrown on a fire.

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