(2021) Over the years ROTA has had the pleasure of assisting in the support of several African young men who had been studying for the priesthood. These relationships have led to some international travel to their ordinations in their respective countries or that of visiting with them when they celebrated mass for the first time in their home country.
Currently ROTA is lending some support to two individuals. The first young man, Joash, we met while in Nairobi Kenya for the Ordination of Fr. Richard O. We met him while we were staying at the Carmelite Monastery in the city. A fine young man, Joash, was one of the community's liturgical musicians as well as taking care of the community's technological ministries.
Having been a Carmelite myself and a liturgical musician, I couldn't help but develop a kinship with this young man. We spent many hours in conversation and I sensed a similarity between our spiritual and discernment pathways. Joash made a decision to leave his Carmelite brothers. Currently he is living alone and doing an on-line degree course, a masters in Business Administration, while awaiting a time to come stateside and visit Buffalo. He had lived in Wisconsin for just over a year in formation and hopes in time to return to the USA and possibly study for the Buffalo Diocese; God willing.
While traveling in the Masaka Diocese of Uganda at the beginning of 2020, I was able to send for him to join us for a one week experience in mission. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the travel with us. He especially enjoyed the vitality of the Ugandan faith community. Many thanks to some of our benefactors who have supported our efforts to keep him busy in studies as he awaits an opportunity and ability to join us for continued discernment here in the Buffalo Diocese. COVID 19 in 2020 and his detachment to family has made such travel impossible to date. We pray for the Lord to make a way for him to continue to discern his vocational life with us.
Secondly, I was surprised to receive a communication from a young man from the Masaka Diocese. As a youth, Jimmy had the opportunity to meet our good friend, the late Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa. To our understanding, Bishop Kaggwa gave some of our contact information to him assuring him that if anything would happen to the Bishop, he should seek us out for care and support. Our good friend, Bishop John Baptist passed suddenly in January 2021.
Jimmy was accepted as a seminarian of the Masaka Diocese in September of 2021 and was to begin his seminary experience in level one philosophy November 1, 2021. His family sacrificed to assist him with the fees required but he was falling short of the funds required. He was able to begin his studies but knew that when the administration would discover that he's fees were not paid in full, he would be dismissed. He shared with us that he recalled his visit with Bishop Kaggwa and was tirelessly looking for the slip of paper that had written upon it our contact information that Bishop John Baptist shared with him. He found it in one of his empty luggage bags and began to reach out to us. We called upon our good friend Fr. Emmanuel Katabaazi to assist us in evaluating the situation and the need. Receiving Fr. Emmanuel's endorsement we were able to forward to St. Mbaaga's Major Seminary funds for the first semester tuition and the COVID related testing funded requirements.
His placement now secure, Jimmy had made an appeal to us for some supply assistance. Because his family could not afford more assistance to him, he was lacking the tools necessary for his academic work. His papers were often late in submission because he had to wait until he could use someone else's computer to prepare his written works for submission. ROTA again came to his assistance with providing him his own computer, printer and supplies. Jimmy is especially grateful to all our ROTA supporters who have made it possible for him to pursue his dreams of serving the Lord as a priest of Masaka Diocese.