Support St. Matia
For more information on how you can help with our efforts in Uganda please contact
The Support St. Matia Mulumba Board
Chair: Judy Adkins
Vice Chair: Mark Ring
Treasurer: Brian McGillicudy
Board Member: Jean Fuccella
Board Member: Frankie Dodson
The Mother Teresa community graciously donated $6,000 for pandemic relief aid in December 2020 to feed the poor of St. Matia Mulumba. Through continuation of the Lazarus Pastoral Program in the parish, the community actively collaborated with us to feed the poorest of the poor. Fr. Charles Lugenda sends his love and the following report on how the funds were allocated along with a pandemic update.
Our Extensive Relationship with St. Matia Mulumba Parish
Fr. Charles Lugenda joined the pastoral staff at St. Michael the Archangel from May, 2007 to July, 2008 while on sabbatical leave from St. Matia Mulumba. Through this relationship, we saw a beautiful opportunity to share our blessings with his faithful Christian community in need of many basic necessities. In November of 2008, we held our first campaign for St. Matia Mulumba to assist the children with tuition and school supplies. The community embraced the opportunity to help and has been generously enriching the lives of our Ugandan friends ever since.
Fr. Charles had the opportunity to visit our parish several times since his sabbatical and was a guest priest in 2013 and 2014. In June of 2016 several parishioners from Mother Teresa were honored guests at St. Matia Mulumba’s Jubilee Anniversary celebration.
St. Matia Mulumba was a Mission of Our Lady of Fatima Church, Mubende since 1925. It became a parish with the building of the current church in 1966. From 1925-1984 it was evangelized by the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers). The diocesan priests took over the administration of the parish in 1984.
Fr. Charles Lugenda has been the pastor of St. Matia Mulumba since 2008. He is their sixth pastor. St. Matia Mulumba is named after one of the Uganda Martrys. The parish is 45 miles west of the capital city of Kampala and is in the rural district of Kassanda. According to the 2019 statistics the parish has a population of 26,838. Out of these 14,032 are Roman Catholics and live in 23 sub-parishes.
Four priests travel to the rural villages to say Mass and provide pastoral care to the people, seeing them monthly with the exception of the main substation. The farthest sub-parish is eighteen miles from the Main Church of St. Matia Mulumba. It takes about one and a half hours by car due to the rugged rural roads.
St. Matia has 10 primary schools (Catholic founded) with a total number of 3612 pupils. One secondary school (church founded) with 420 pupils. The parish also has one health center (Grade III) which is administered by 3 nuns and 7 lay staff.
Parishioners are mostly peasant farmers. The average weekly collection of St. Matia Mulumba and the sub-parishes is an equivalent of $120.00, however some families offer food stuffs instead of cash.
New Public Address and Sound System Installed
St. Matia excitedly celebrated Christmas with the acquisition of a new sound system from our past donations. An exterior megaphone fixed outside the churches main entrance allows the crowds outside to hear Mass. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic they are still limited to only 200 people inside the church for each liturgical service to maintain social distancing. Seats are numbered and assigned for each service. Once they reach capacity the remaining people are free to attend a service outside the church as long as they follow the health guidelines (hand washing, wearing of face mask and social distancing). With no TV screens outside the megaphone has been a big blessing. While following the Mass outside the church on Christmas day one congregant remarked that it was “sinlessly sweet” hearing everything going on inside the church.
Fr. Charles sends his deep gratitude: “It is as though our ears have been opened for the first time as we hear “everything being said in church” so clearly and in right volume. The system was fixed in the church on 24th December. It was subsequently blessed and inaugurated in the Holy Mass of Christmas Eve. And if all be said even the bricks of this 53-year-old-church are grinning from ear to ear! On behalf of this parish community we thank you and all your collaborators and friends for this financial donation to enable us acquire this sound system for our church. As mentioned in the past years over and over again, we have hidden your kindness in our hearts so that we do not forget it.”
“On a more personal note this microphone has brought me tears of joy. Wearing one for the first time at St. Michael’s and then Green Hope…Now I am using is here at St. Matia Mulumba Church! How can I ever forget you?”
Uganda Pandemic Relief Aid
A call to action: give food, give life
No doubt the pandemic has touched everyone’s lives. It has had a devastating effect on the poor and vulnerable of St. Matia Mulumba Parish in rural Uganda. Those who once were able to lend goodwill to the needy are no longer able to be charitable resulting in widespread food insecurity, malnourishment of children and the threat of starvation. The overwhelming effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are great due to prolonged closures and the shutdown of the country.
Donations are being collected to help feed the children, poor and elderly. To make a
monetary donation contribute online via WeShare or send your check to:
Mother Teresa Catholic Church
10030 Green Level Church Road, Suite 802 #1092
Cary, NC 27519
Your donation of $20.00 will purchase a supply of beans, flour, sugar, bread and other staples
for a family. Food is sourced through a local shopkeeper, purchased in bulk where catechists
and teams of volunteers organize the distributions. On distribution day, the purchasing
committee oversees the “weighing and packing”. Food is delivered by the transportation
committee. Those assigned for the day collect the items for distribution to the villages.
Through our past donations, volunteers realized the widespread need and mobilized to further assist the local poor. In the detailed “End of project summary”, Fr. Charles Lugenda states, “We do hope that the impact of your financial assistance will be “heard and seen” through the lenses of the volunteer’s voices and experiences outlined here.”
- A growing number of elderly are caring for and grand-parenting their neglected grandchildren.
- Children still do not get enough nutritious food to live healthy lives. Many have not received their daily hot meal due to the closure of schools.
- Feeding the starving is a stop-gap of the program, more is required of us. Our help has reinforced people’s belief that God still cares for them and he can send someone to help when needed. It will eventually make the community a better place to live for all.
- We have created in our two villages a practice of “elder sitting” whereby we take turns to go and keep the old people company and perform some chores for them.
- We have discovered many children with disabilities who are being hidden by their families. We need to sensitize parents and community leaders to help eliminate stigma toward children with disabilities.
Despite the challenges of food insecurity in Uganda the catechists remain steadfast in their faith to help the poor which is reflected in their deep gratitude to the Mother Teresa community:
- How shall we ever appreciate the great generosity shown to us by the friends in America.
- Their assistance is the backbone of this program.
- Been given a deep confidence that God never abandons the poor. How he has come to the assistance of our own poor all the way from America is evidence enough if not a miracle in itself.
Finally, I want to share a video message from Fr. Charles:
We just received a special message from Fr. Charles Lugenda (see in comments below) on Uganda Pandemic Relief Aid. The…
Thank you for considering making a donation to St. Matia. We’ll continue to keep you informed here of ongoing updates and how your donations are making a difference.
Chair, St. Matia Mulumba Board
Mother Teresa Catholic Mission assists the community of St. Matia Mulumba in the Diocese of Kiyinda-Mityana, Uganda by helping to provide their community with the basic necessities of everyday life: including clean water, energy, transportation, education, and pastoral care. This is accomplished through prayer and giving with the support of the Children’s Liturgy of the Word Ministry and The Support St. Matia Mulumba Board and Committee. Specifically, our stewardship supports the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in this poor rural village.
We educate our own community, including our children on Catholic social teaching practices. We actively use our talents and gifts to assist our brothers and sisters in need at St. Matia Mulumba in confirmation of our Christian values and the teachings of Our Lord.
Peace and warmest greetings from Uganda
Last November 2019 upon the reception of your generous grant for pastoral care supplies for the “Homebound Project 2019-2020” we were so deeply inspired and challenged by your continued assistance that we decided to utilize this grant as a tool for evangelization. It was a God-given opportunity for us to enter at least 400 homes with material assistance of solar lanterns, blankets, water containers (jerry cans), water basins, bed sheets and fuel. We created a coordinated and shared pastoral care strategy to enable the entire parish community to evangelize and be open to being evangelized by the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable in our community.
This pastoral strategy was to be based on the Word of God and carried out in prayer. It was given the name of the Lazarus Pastoral Program (LPP).
I have sent you a descriptive narrative report on this Lazarus project, for you to read and understand the outcomes of your generous donations.
The pictures we sent to you could not capture our emotional experience as we visited with each home. Suffice it to say that upon receiving the solar lanterns there was jubilation in every home and a song of GRATITUDE— in many different words and melodies. Many were running over with so much joy that they danced! They have all expressed heartfelt thanks for what they have called a “miracle of compassion, thoughtfulness and care…”. A miracle, indeed, which could not have been possible without the funding from the Mother Teresa Catholic Mission. We never tire of expressing our deep indebtedness to you for having chosen to share your blessings with us over and over again!
I include a few comments from those who have received solar lanterns:
“I thank the God of miracles and surprises. This lockdown has brought you to my shack to pray with me and give me a lantern which does not use kerosene.”
“I have never seen such brightness in my house. Jesus must be in this lantern.”
Fr. Charles Kizito Lugenda