GONZAGA GONZA GROUP (GGG) SEMINARIANS GET TOGETHER 2019
On the 10th to 13th of January. All the Diocesan seminarians of Jinja Diocese gathered for their annual get-together in Buluba Hospital Parish. It has been the practice of the seminarians since time memorial to gather once in a year to advise and encourage each other, to compare notes and to strengthen the fraternal bond that must exist between them as future coworkers in the Lord’s vineyard. All seminarians gathered where 48 (one did not attend since he is out of the country for Theological Studies). Together with those were 16 aspirants to the major seminary.
As part of our annual package, in his talk on Friday morning, the Bishop, His Lordship Charles Martin Wamika encouraged us to strengthen our bonds with our families and learn to accept who they are and to help resolve any discrepancies that exist in the families. It does not solve anything to run away from our family problems but on the other hand, it means a lot to hail from good and respectable families. He reminded us about the family tree – a theme he well expounded to us with the assistance of Fr. Benedict Wakabi last year. Each of us has a history that either directly or indirectly affects us. Therefore, we need to pray for blessings for our family tree and pray against curses and misfortunes that may befall us because of our families. He gave an example of someone hailing from a family of thieves. People always look at them as thieves regardless of the good ones. Furthermore, he moved along with Fr. Godfrey Kibumba, the Diocesan Financial Administrator who reechoed to us the Bishop’s appeal in as far as financial administration in ecclesiastical institutions and personal finances are concerned. Financial discipline is very important in any institutional (ecclesiastical) administration. “The parish finances are not for priests in Church but for the people so we (they) must always account for them,” he said. He also noted with concern that many priests have challenges in the ministry because of finances. “We as seminarians should learn and practice financial records. Each of us must keep records of one’s incomes and expenditures”, he said. “One of the challenges some parish administrators face,” he retorted, “is because they record incomes but neglect expenditures.” The two go hand in hand. To aid us in that, he taught us the use of ledgers in accounts as the easiest means to record one’s finances. To make it a habit, he advised us to begin now with our finances so that it will be easier to account for parish finances in future. Accounting is part and parcel of the Church”, he said, “So whoever is against accounts in the Church is against the Church.” As priests in making, we must feel with the Church, we must strive to develop the institution and use the resources to attain our needs and develop the parishes.
We then had our picnic at Doctina Beach (Buluba) on Saturday 12th. A number of priests joined us. They further encouraged us to feel well founded and true to our calling and trust God. There was a good luncheon and a lot of fun. On Sunday 13th, we animated Mass at Buluba Parish (We sang at Mass, served and the deacon preached.) We used that opportunity also to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life given the fact that Buluba has just a handful of vocations and no major seminarian. Many came up and promised to join in the noble vocations, parents promised their support and the celebrant and the deacons blessed the aspirants. We gave them words of encouragement after Mass. May God continue watering his call in them. There was also a football encounter against the youth of Buluba Parish. It ended 4-4 and the seminarians visited the hospital and had very nice inspiring and hope giving chats with the sick at the hospital wards. We left many smiling faces on the sick, desperate and needy and learnt not to call lepers “bagenge” but “elders”.
We thank all who contributed generously towards the gathering: the Diocese, the parishes and the priest’s fraternity and all people of good will. May God bless you all.
Rev. Owori Silver Osuna
C/P, Gonzaga Gonza Group (GGG).