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Apostolic Movement

A wayside shrine is being built in Uganda

By: Sister Hanna-Lucia

September 25, 2011. On my way to the airport in Freiburg, where Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate the farewell Mass with some 100,000 faithful, I meet Father Joachim Mugalu from Uganda.

2023: 12 years later a wayside shrine will be erected in the Kasawo parish, which will be the center of the Pilgrim Mother circles. The parish is located about two hours from Kampala. It is in Father Joachim Mugalu’s hometown diocese. The priest states:

“I am Father Joachim Mugalu, a priest from the Lugazi diocese in Uganda. I teach at the San Mbaaga Seminary in Ggaba, Kampala. I was allowed to spend my year of sabbatical in the archdiocese of Freiburg during 2011/2012. That was in the Achern Parish. During this time, I had the good fortune to get to know the Schoenstatt Movement and I was introduced to the Schoenstatt spirituality, especially through the loving guidance of Father Lukas Wehrle and Sister M. Hanna-Lucia Hechinger. As a result, I stayed several times at the Schoenstatt Center in Oberkirch. In November 2011 I was able to seal my Covenant of Love in the Shrine there.”

Before returning to Uganda, Father Lukas Wehrle presented Father Mugalu with a Pilgrim MTA in the Schoenstatt Shrine. With great apostolic zeal, Father Joachim began to work for the Pilgrim Mother Apostolate in his hometown diocese. His concern and longing was that the efforts to found and strengthen the Apostolate be completely oriented towards the origins of the Apostolate. Then he had the opportunity to return to Germany and to go to Schoenstatt, and there he took advantage of some conversations and the study of Father Joseph Kentenich’s writings which helped him to better understand the Pilgrim Mother Apostolate.

Upon returning to his country, he writes: “After my return to Uganda, I introduced the Schoenstatt spirituality in the diocese of Lugazi. At present Schoenstatt is active in two parishes: Sseeta and Kasawo. We have a total of 20 Pilgrim Mother circles, made up of 7-10 families or individuals each. We meet regularly to learn more about Father Joseph Kentenich and/or about Schoenstatt, among other things. At the end of each meeting, the personal spiritual offerings are placed in the jar as a contribution to the capital of grace and burned.”

 A new dawn in Africa

Then he continued: “March 10, 2022, was a great day for the young Schoenstatt Movement in Uganda: for the first time the founding members sealed the Covenant of Love. It was in St. Augustine’s parish in Sseeta, in the Lugazi Diocese. We hope that the group will continue to grow.

construcción ermita uganda With time, the desire grew to have a common meeting place, where missionaries and those being missioned could meet in prayer. The idea of erecting a wayside shrine took root in their hearts. “We hope that it will be a good step to strengthen Schoenstatt in Uganda. May the Blessed Mother bless this work,” expressed Father Joachim Mugalu.

“Schoenstatt in African garb”

wayside shrine in uganda Bildstock der MTA

In the meantime, the wayside shrine in Uganda is almost finished. “The members of the Schoenstatt Movement are very proud of this accomplishment,” says Father Joachim.

Sister M. Lisette from Burundi invited Father Joachim to Burundi in December 2022 for the 25th anniversary of the Pilgrim Mother Apostolate in that country. There, as he later expressed in a conversation, he experienced “Schoenstatt in African garb”.

wayside shrine in uganda The experience of the living Schoenstatt Movement in Burundi gives him motivation to root Schoenstatt even further in his diocese. Now the small Schoenstatt Movement in Uganda awaits the blessing of the wayside shrine.


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