Uganda – Success Story: Ongoing formation for the members of a local religious congregation

The congregation of the Brothers of St. Martin de Porres was originally established in 1953 in what is now South Sudan. Here in Uganda, the members of this male religious congregation work in the parishes, teach in the schools, and help the poor and needy through a variety of charitable activities.

As a home-grown African congregation, the brothers are poor and very much dependent on outside support—not least for their own ongoing formation and spiritual development, for if they are to serve others, they themselves first need to constantly seek new strength through their spiritual life, lest their vocation should dry up and wither. However, since the year 2013, it had for various reasons not been possible to hold such formation sessions, and so Brother Charles Olumu, the delegate superior of the congregation, turned to ACN for help. He knows that a life of intensive prayer is the foundation of everything else that they do, rendering all their work fruitful. Equally, the communal life of the friars and the fidelity to their founding charism are vital elements leading to the sanctification of souls. “Christ is the centre of all our goals and desires,” Brother Charles writes. It is this personal relationship to Christ that is the most important thing of all, and the experience drawn from this life of prayer must then be translated into concrete deeds of love, he explains. But at the same time, this interior attitude needs to be constantly reinforced and practised.

Thanks to the generosity of our benefactors, we were able to support the friars in their ongoing formation with a contribution of $10,500.

Now Brother Charles has written to thank us. “In the name of God and on behalf of all my brothers who have experienced the consoling strength of your love, we send you our heartfelt thanks for your tireless commitment to supporting the mission of the Church in this poor region of Northern Uganda. May Almighty God bless and reward you for the support you have given our brothers. We deeply appreciate the bonds of friendship that have been shown us and we have truly understood that a friend in need is a friend indeed. We know that you have made this sacrifice out of love for God, and we believe that the spiritual nourishment we have received as a result will strengthen us in our mission in the Church. We pray earnestly for you, daily, especially during Holy Mass.”

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