Upholding the legacy
The zeal that propels my daily activities at Fondazione Italia Uganda is my friendship with Fr. John Scalabrini (RIP). When he first approached me for help back in 2015, I said “Yes!” to honor his friendship, to execute what I had learnt from him and as a friend, I have a duty to respect his legacy. Through his love for Christ and the Catholic Church, he built a community of people, both in Uganda and in Italy. Fr. John’s legacy wasn’t about properties and buildings. It was about us the people and particularly the Christian community he loved, a gift we can rely on even when problems seem overwhelming. So we need to take care of our community and at the same time, challenge it to carry on with his vision just as the Emmaus Foundation Trust Articles of Association states:
…Provide education and other training to people, particularly the vulnerable and indigent youth and orphans, educate them about options for employment and career development and prepare them to be useful members of society…
This mission is fostered by the Emmaus Foundation Trust, which is composed of Fondazione Italia Uganda Onlus (FIU), Emmaus Foundation ltd (EF) and Benedict Medical Center ltd (BMC); with FIU particularly focused on creating a network of people and institutions who can join our effort and support us in fulfilling Fr. John’s vision.
The message of LOVE
“The image of God shines in every person”, Fr. John Scalabrini used to frequently say. Fr. John Loved God; and my reflection on one of his expressions and this one in particular, explains why Fr. John spent so much time caring and helping people who facilitated his relationship with God i.e. the disadvantaged; and as Fondazione Italia Uganda Onlus, we zealously uphold and cherish this fact. In our Catholic tradition, the word Charity means Carità, which in English means to LOVE; and this LOVE must be the engine of our actions, activities and the care that we extend to persons; Charity must be part and parcel of our behavior.
Charity/Carità/Love, then translates into Education and health. Fr. John showed us that only through education and health, can people be redeemed and therefore stand a chance to exploit their full potential, which in turn strengthens the communities in which they abide. For this fact, Fr. John once expressed
“Everybody can improve her or his own existence; but to do that, each one must be made to feel responsible, confident and make his or her abilities be recognized”.
My appeal to each member of the Emmaus Fraternity therefore, is to feel the responsibility to develop society
As a member of the Emmaus Foundation Trust family, Fondazione Italia Uganda Onlus, together with Emmaus Foundation Ltd and Benedict Medical Center Ltd; are organizing a pilgrimage to the Uganda Martyrs’ Shrines Namugongo – Fr. John’s devotion. So I am pleased to announce that this year a delegation of Fondazione Italia Uganda Onlus, is coming to Kampala on October 4 and together, we will commemorate the life and legacy of our founder, Fr. John Scalabrini. My hope is that the pilgrimage will foster our faith and unity among us. I personally take this opportunity to invite all the people who love Fr. John, to join us. Also, join me this year to pray for the soul of our departed brother and friend Dr. Michael Ochan Kilama (RIP).
Fr. John’s own last words; the heart of our community…
“If we don’t have faith in God and love for humanity, all the things we do fall, have no meaning, no strength.”… Fr. John Scalabrini