Posted by: matt25 | May 25, 2012

1 Deacon, 2 Masses, 3 Bishops, 4 Missionaries

How do you follow a joyous celebration of Mass with a bishop in the morning? Well by serving at another celebration in the afternoon with two bishops of course!

In the morning we celebrated at Katigando Seminary with Bishop Wanok of Nebbi but in the afternoon on Friday, we immersed ourselves in prayer, celebration, commemoration, and technology as we dedicated the new medical store building in Kitovu. The main celebrant was His Lordship Right Reverend John Baptist Kaggawa Bishop of the Diocese of Masaka, with His Lordship Right Reverend Paul Kalanda Bishop Emeritus of Fort Portal as an honored concelebrant.

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Once again I was the only deacon present, a very strange situation for me as an American at a mass with one bishop let alone two. I am beginning to feel a bit like a celebrity since everyone knows who I am because of the unique nature of my call within the experience of the Church in Uganda. A celebrity without the entourage, paparazzi, or lifestyle of the rich and famous… Okay maybe not a celebrity but as someone who is much easier to remember than I have ever been before.

Of course our entire team has received honored guest status and the notoriety that comes along with it. It is difficult to describe the immense gratitude of everyone I have met for the generosity shown to the people of Masaka Diocese by the people of the Diocese of Buffalo through the efforts spearheaded by Reaching Out 2 Africa.

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Our Mission team is headed by Fr. Ronald Sajdak, the founder of that organization who is also the pastor of St Martin de Porres , along with the pastoral associate from his parish, Joan Ersing who is the Executive Director of the Ministry Group for Reaching Out 2 Africa. It was Reaching Out 2 Africa, that raised the funds to build the new medical store that we blessed.

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We had one other team member from Buffalo. Gregg Prince, our intrepid media specialist who, with the generous blessing of the Communications Department and the entire chancery, made a couple first time events happen for us. Through his efforts and fine work we were able to stream our mass and ceremony live over the Internet and afterwards facilitate a face to face video call between the bishop of Masaka and Bishop Edward U. Kmiec of the Diocese of Buffalo.

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While he was behind the scenes, Gregg may have been the most celebrated team member of all, as his knowledge of the new media and expertise in radio caused a great many people to seek him out for conversation and demonstrations.

All in all, it was a pretty incredible day in my book, the fruits of which will be a blessing to many for years to come. I’ll share something of the importance of the medical store another time.

Peace

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