“As Christians, followers of Jesus, our lifestyle must reflect our faith, it questions us deeply about who we are and what we live for. We are not alone: Christ is the silent listener of every conversion and always knocks on our hearts waiting to be able to enter and dwell with us. The Pontifical Mission Societies in Uganda accompany the faithful to live and grow as brothers and sisters who must continue to make known God’s goodness, mercy, and love”. This is what Father Pontian Kaweesa, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Uganda said to Agenzia Fides, speaking of the preparations that the local Church is organizing in view of missionary October, the month in which Catholics from all over the world gather to promote the missionary work of the Church, celebrating World Mission Day, scheduled for this year on October 18, 2020.
“Since last week – reports Fr. Pontian – the Ugandan government has eased restrictions on churches and places of worship, which had been imposed to combat the coronavirus epidemic. After seven months, churches can finally open for public prayers and celebrations with up to 70 people admitted. During the lockdown – says the National Director of the PMS – we encouraged all the baptized to pray together in their families: the Church, so to speak, went to her children, their homes, and their families. The Word of God was shared by catechists, lay leaders, and priests who visited the homes and small Christian communities. The children – he continues – were prepared for First Communion and the Sacraments of Penance. The Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Marriage were also celebrated following the current standard procedures provided for in these cases. We are also grateful to the Holy Father for establishing a special emergency fund for Covid-19 at the PMS to help affected communities. In Uganda – notes Fr. Kaweesa – the pandemic has negatively affected the livelihood of a large part of the population: many survive with only one meal a day and without money to buy other essential goods and medicines”.
There are many initiatives prepared by the Ugandan Catholic community for World Mission Day 2020. “We plan to offer a series of presentations on Mission Day and the mission of the Church on our Ugandan Catholic television (UC TV)”, explains Fr. Pontian. “We will also produce a live broadcast on Radio Maria to talk about Mission Day in the current situation of the coronavirus pandemic. In order to promote the contribution to the Universal Solidarity Fund – continues the religious – we asked the Bishops to allow the creation of a special bank account where the faithful can send money, in addition to the traditional fundraising system. We have written to all the Bishops and diocesan directors of the PMS to urge the faithful of their respective dioceses to pray for the mission of the Church and to live a novena before Mission Sunday in their homes and communities. Finally, we created two digital posters with the theme of Mission Day 2020 “Here I am, send me” (Is 6, 8) to be shared on the main digital platforms. Now – concludes Fr. Kaweesa – it is time to bring the gifts of the Good News and our faith as treasures to be shared. Every gift is better when it is shared”.