On this Pentecost Sunday we warmly welcome Fr. Alfred Tumwesigwe from the Diocese of Mbarara, Uganda, for the first of our summer Mission Appeals. 1brough the Missionary Cooperation Plan of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, each parish of the Archdiocese welcomes two missionary groups during the summer months. The visit of the missionaries reminds us of the universality of the Church and our interdependence as the Body of Christ.
The Diocese of Mbarara, located in southwestern Uganda, was created in 1999 in response to the explosive growth of the Church in Uganda. Nearly half of the more than two million people who live in the diocese are Catholic. Fr. Alfred shares with us the needs of this new and growing diocese and offers us the opportunity to support the Church’s mission in this African Diocese.
Fr. Alfred’s presence among us is a beautiful reminder of the missionary nature of the Church. Jesus called his disciples to take the Good News of God’s love to the very ends of the earth.
Through the gift of the Holy Spirit bestowed on the Apostles on Pentecost Sunday, that witness
began and continues today. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are called to share in the missionary mandate of the Church.
Fr. Alfred’s presence is a timely reminder of the interdependence of the Church. The Church in Africa needs the material help of the Church in America to meet the needs of a young and growing Church. At a time when our Archdiocese and the Church in America experiences a dramatic decline in vocations, the Church in Africa struggles to build seminaries to accommodate the young men being called to the priesthood. The Church in Africa and other parts of the world is generously sharing priests with the Church in America Fr. Alfred, himself, is currently serving the Church in Nokomis, Illinois.
Thanks to the generosity of the Church in India, we are blessed with a wonderful group of international priests and religious from Tamil Nadu and Corolla who are generously serving as missionaries in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, enabling us to keep parishes open that otherwise would be without priests. Several of the priests serving as hospital chaplains in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis are from Nigeria, Africa. While we may share with other dioceses around the world from our material wealth, the Church in other parts of the world is coming to our aid with the spiritual wealth of its priests and religious.
I know that Fr. Alfred will find a warm welcome and a generous response to this weekend’s Mission Appeal. See you at Mass!