MBARARA, Uganda - On 16th October, 2018 the confreres working in East Africa who are undergoing a workshop on Montfortian Leadership Style in Mbarara Community made a courtesy visit to Archbishop Paul K. Bakyenga. The purpose of the visit was to introduce the Assistant General responsible for Africa and Madagascar, Fr. Arnold Suhardi, SMM to the archbishop.
The archbishop was pleased with the visit and expressed gratitude for the active presence of the Montfort Missionaries in his archdiocese.
“All along I have been asking for the presence of the Montfort Missionaries in my diocese. We still ask for the Montfortians to have a Marian Shrine in promoting the devotion to Our Mother Mary in the archdiocese and at the national level,” The archbishop made the request to Fr. Arnold, SMM as he was sharing memorable experiences of his encounters with confreres in Rome.
The archbishop added that the archdiocese is desperately looking for Montfortians and collaborators who can render professional services such as teaching and administration at University of St. Joseph, Mbarara. The archbishop who is 74 years old pleaded for more active participation of the Montfort Missionaries in pastoral activities of the archdiocese citing Kabuyanda parish and Mbarara community as not enough.
Fr. Arnold, SMM thanked the archbishop for his continuous support and pastoral care to the confreres present in the archdiocese. He then gave him A History of the Company of Mary book as a gift.
The archbishop shared long memories of the confreres who worked with him in the diocese including Fr. Lambertus Terstroet, SMM, Fr. Bernardus Faas, SMM, Fr. Andrianus van der Hulst, SMM and Fr. Charlie Beirne, SMM. He also talked of confreres he met in Rome at the General House during his visits including Fr. Arnold Suhardi, SMM (present at the visit), Fr. Luiz Augusto Stefani, SMM (current Superior General) and Fr. Santino Brembilla, SMM.
Bishop Paul K. Bakyenga took canonical possession of the seat of Mbarara diocese on the 23rd of November,1991 after the retirement of Bishop John Baptist Kakubi. When the diocese of Mbarara was elevated to an Archdiocese on January 2, 1999, Bishop Paul K. Bakyenga was installed Archbishop of Mbarara on July 11, 1999. The foundation of the Montfort Missionaries in Uganda began in 1973 when Fr. Lambertus Terstroet, SMM of the Dutch Province was sent to be a professor at a diocesan seminary in Kampala.
-Fr. Jailos Augustine Mpina, SMM