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PMS Uganda Calls for Generous Contribution on Vocations Sunday, Says Mission is Expensive

Logo PMS Uganda. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The leadership of Pontifical Mission Society (PMS) in Uganda has called upon the people of God in the East African country to support vocations in the country through prayers and financial contribution, saying that mission work requires a lot of resources.

In his appeal ahead of Vocations Sunday to be celebrated on April 25, the National Director of PMS in Uganda, Fr. Pontian Kaweesa, says that prayers for vocations should also include those said for married couples.

“As we continue to pray for the vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life but also for married people, let us all together pitch in and contribute generously,” Fr. Kaweesa says in a speech that was televised Thursday, April 22.

He adds, “Mission is capital intensive. If we want to support vocations, we have to pay some money. I look towards your generous contribution in both prayers and finances.”

Explaining the activities of Vocations Sunday, the National Secretary for the Pontifical Society of St. Peter the Apostle in Uganda, Sr. Stella Maris Niwagira, says that Parishioners will be required to make a contribution in their respective Parishes to aid the formation of Seminarians and Novices across the country.

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“When we pray for vocations, as we always do, God calls his people and we (in turn) see many Priests, we see many Religious, many Consecrated people but also is our duty to accompany these people on their journey of formation,” Sr. Stella Maris says, and explains that the essence of World Day of prayer for Vocations is the prayer and financial support.

The member of the Missionary Sisters of St. Peter Claver further explains that whatever is collected on the day will be sent to the Vatican where other contributions from other countries across the world will be put together in a “Universal Solidarity Fund.”

“It is from this fund that the Holy Father will dish out to the needy children,” Sr. Stella Maris says, and adds, “The Holy Father will look around and see the Church that has the most needs. You know here in Uganda we are among the neediest children of the Church because we are a growing Church.”

“We are what is referred to as the Mission church in the Mission lands,” she says, adding that the Church in Uganda relies on St. Peter’s kitty to run its projects, especially in Seminaries and other formation houses.

Apart from supporting Seminarians and Novices in their one-year Canonical year of formation, the funds also go into buildings and renovations of Seminary structures and others houses of formation.  

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In her prayer for vocations ahead of the April 25 event, the Ugandan Nun quotes the Holy Father, saying, “I pray that you will experience this same joy dear brothers and sisters who have generously laid God the dream of Serving Him in your brothers and sisters through a fidelity that is a powerful Testimony in an age of short-lived choices and emotions that bring more lasting joy. May St. Joseph the protector of vocations, accompany you with his fatherly heart.”

Meanwhile, Fr. Kaweesa has invited the people of God in Uganda to reflect upon the message of Pope Francis on the 8th World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

The Ugandan Cleric says that he finds it especially a blessing that Vocations Sunday this year coincides with the celebration of the 150 years since St. Joseph was declared the Universal patron of the Universal Church.

“The Holy Father Pope Francis has given us ‘Saint Joseph: The Dream of Vocation’ as a theme for this year’s vocation Sunday,” Fr. Kaweesa says, and adds, “The Pope says St. Joseph is so close to our human experiences just as he was there as a father to the Holy family.”

The PMS official says that St. Joseph did not do extraordinary things but ordinary things that became extraordinary because he responded to the call, to the dream that God inspired him to have.

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“Not much is recorded of Saint Joseph. In the Bible, he is not mentioned as one who said anything recorded but his actions, his response, his fidelity to the call of God is outstanding,” Fr. Kaweesa says in his April 22 message.

He adds, in reference to the foster father of Jesus, “Actually the Pope calls him the Saint next door because of his service not only to the Son of God and to the Blessed Virgin Mary but also his service to the Church with fidelity.”

He says that St. Joseph is recommended highly to be the “pattern and model of all vocations.”

Fr. Kaweesa reiterates the Holy Father’s wish that all the faithful emulate St. Joseph who is the guardian and protector not only of the family but also of vocations.