PRESIDENT HAILS LITTLE SISTERS OF St. FRANCIS FOR DEVELOPMENT WORK IN UGANDA AS THEY MARK 100YRS
President Museveni has challenged all Ugandans to utilize the economic advantages created by NRM to improve on their household income. Museveni says such reforms must translate into job and wealth creation, adding that it is in everybody’s best interest that Uganda continues to accelerate towards modernity, development and political stability.
Museveni made the remarks through Vice President Maj. Jessica Alupo who represented him as she joined hundreds of faithfuls to mark 100 years since the founding of the Little Sisters of St.Francis, a religious institute founded by Mother Mary Kevin. The institute was canonically recognised as a religious Institute of Diocesan Rite in 1959 and that, they have been pivotal in supporting government in providing social services.
The President described the celebration as a testimony of their faithfulness to God and mankind since 1923.
“I join you to celebrate the vision and wisdom of Sister Mary Kevin Kearney and her companions, who laid a solid foundation for the Little Sisters of St. Francis”, Museveni said.
He commended the Little Sisters of St. Francis for their devotion to the fight against poverty, disease and ignorance in the communities and thanked the Catholic Church for maintaining a cordial relationship and partnership with the NRM government.
“The Church has exploited the private sector-friendly policies of the NRM government to extend social services to the public. For instance, faith-based institutions have constructed a number of schools and hospitals across the country. This is proof of Church’s concern for the material and physical well-being of the believers”, the President added.
Museveni said it is important to emphasize to believers that in addition to seeking spiritual nourishment from the places of worship, they should also participate in income generating activities to sustain their households.
He challenged all believers to emulate Jesus Christ who; besides preaching the good news, was also a carpenter.
The president noted that poverty in Uganda is caused by subsistence farming because here, people work for the stomach only. He said this practice is dangerous in the modern era where all goods and services needed to sustain life must be bought with money.
The President called upon the religious leaders to encourage people to select profitable enterprises in the four sectors of: commercial agriculture, industries; services and ICT. “These are the sectors where households can generate jobs and incomes”, Museveni emphasized.
He said government would continue to ensure maintenance of peace and security in the whole Country; construction of the necessary social and economic infrastructure, as a way of facilitating and attracting local and foreign investments to create jobs and incomes for Ugandans.
Meanwhile, Vice President Alupo who was clad in a bright blue signature dress with Mother Mary insignia designs, amused the faithfuls with her singing talent especially when led the faithful in a song “this is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it”.
Alupo said she is direct beneficiary of different congregations like the Sacred Heart Sisters, MillHill sisters and the Little Sisters of St.Francis.
“I’m very proud of the little sisters because they educated my children. I’m one of the parents that can testify that you give all round education. I salute you on that,” the Vice President noted.
She also brought smiles on the faces of local leaders who; through their area MP Dr. Micheal Lulume Bayiga (DP) highlighted to government issues of concern related to environment, gaps in PDM among others but Alupo promised that they would be addressed.
“President Museveni is still at the helm, including 2026 and beyond, and all issues would be addressed progressively”, she assured them besides religiously delivering Shs60m from the President to assist in their centennial celebrations.
ABOUT THE CELEBRATIONS
The celebrations to mark ten (10) decades were celebrated with Holy Mass, led by the Luigi Bianco, the Apostolic Nuncio to Uganda, assisted by several Bishops.
The different prelates shared messages about the founder-Mother Kevin, who they described as “a gift,a spiritual treasure”.
Bishop Christopher Kakooza of Lugazi Diocese said this was a centenary of dedicated service.
Charles Martin Wamika-Bishop of Jinja prayed that what Mother Kevin started, grows from strength to strength. These include schools such as Mt.St.Mary’s College Namagunga, different health facilities such as St.Francis Hospital, orphanages and Homes for the Needy among several other establishments.
Serverus Jjumba-Bishop of Jinja noted that God used Mother Kevin as his Instrument of love toward the least of his people.
The celebrations drew participants from different countries of Uganda including all the East African countries, USA, UK,Canada, among others.
Government officials including the State Minister for ICT-Godfrey Kabyanga, the Principal Judge-Dr.Flavien Zeija, area MPs, district leaders and several other dignitaries were also present.