Father Matthias Visitation 2017

“Dedicated to Fr. Matthias Kakooza

whose vision and leadership has connected

our hearts and our schools from Chicago to Uganda”

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It’s quite fitting that a spiritual pillar in our St. Andrew community had a colorful, symbolic pillar dedicated to him on Addison Street this past month. Fr. Matthias Kakooza has been visiting and working in our Lakeview community for 13 years.

He began his calling in 1998 when he finished seminary school in Saint Mbaaga major seminary in Uganda with the financial support of a family friend and priests (Fr. Mukasa Matthias, Fr.Denis Kyemwa and Fr John Lule).  He recalls his father didn’t understand his passion to be a priest at the time – wanting him instead to bring home much needed money to support their poor subsistence.

Three years later, he made his first acquaintance with Fr. Jack Farry in a Southside parish. Farry, St. Andrew Pastor Emeritus, would later be instrumental in securing his annual visits to St. Andrew. These visits would blossom and grow into several life-changing programs that would enrich Chicagoans and improve the lives of people in Fr. Matthias’ Ugandan communities.

The impact is impressive. In the last decade, Fr. Matthias has overseen the construction of 15 clean water wells, four primary grade schools, one secondary school and the scholarship support of more than 100 students.

I think this is what I am called to be as a priest.  Still as a young man, I wanted to be a resource to my community, to help whenever I could. I like what I am doing and I have found it very rewarding.”

Ugandan priests and their parishes play a unique and critical role in their community. The parish in many ways provides the safety nets that are devoid in a country where corruption is flagrant in government, social services and health care. A community’s pastor is not only the spiritual leader – but in many cases, the urgent care clinic, the surrogate parent, the education-provider or the safe-haven shelter.

“By providing for a decent education atmosphere through the construction of schools and giving of scholarships to deserving students, I can already anticipate a very bright future and great success for these young men and women.”

The St. Andrew community is proud to partner with such a visionary and generous man. We provide support in three key areas: parish-to-parish funding, school building (www.ugandaessomerochicago.com) and student scholarships (www.oneheartuganda.com). We invite you to join us in celebrating and supporting our dear friend and leader, Fr. Matthias Kakooza.

Donations made to serve his parish, Saint Charles Llwanda can be made at the following link… 

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