October 4, 2018 came round again; the day that the Emmaus Foundation fraternity together with friends of Fr. John, beneficiaries and well-wishers, came together to commemorate the Anniversary of the passing of the our beloved brother, friend, benefactor, father Rev. Fr. John Scalabrini (RIP).
It was decided that this year’s anniversary, should be observed by way of a pilgrimage to Uganda’s Martyrs’ Shrine Namugongo, in honour of Fr. John’s love and respect for the Catholic Church.
The pilgrimage to the Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo, started with a short prayer at St. James Catholic parish Bbiina, at the cemetery where Fr. John was laid to rest, and at exactly 8:00am, the pilgrims set off to Namugongo; with a stopover at Bishop Cipriano Kihangire Senior Secondary School (BCKSSS) for a briefing. The halt also gave the pilgrims a chance to witness and participate in the unveiling ceremony of the Fr. John Scalabrini’s stone-curved figurine and prayer for his soul. The figurine that portrays two school children standing on Fr. John’s either side, demonstrates his love for and promotion of education, especially for children from poor and needy backgrounds. He is quoted to have continually expressed,
“It is double tragedy to be both poor and uneducated”
The three hours-long journey was spirit filled with prayer and praises to the Lord for the life and the works of Fr. John Scalabrini. The young school children joined the old, and under the scorching sun, braved the pilgrimage and at 11:00 am, the pilgrims were ushered into the Uganda Catholic Martyrs shrine Basilica; where a memorial Mass for Fr. John was held, officiated by Msgr. Charles Kasibante, Vicar General Kampala Archdiocese; following the pilgrims’ prayer procession from the shrines alter.
It was a great honor to be joined in the pilgrimage by representatives and friends of Fr. John from our partner organization Fondazione Italia Uganda Onlus (FIU) and Italy as a whole: Mr. Silvio Leonardi Chairman FIU and Daniele Valerin Managing Director FIU; Friends of Fr. John Edilio Somaschini former Board member and Eng. Ettore Donna. We recognize and thank you all for the great support you have and continue to extend towards Emmaus Foundation, to successfully run its projects and as such, be able to uphold and Carry On our founders Vision.