This past weekend, on January 4, at St. Augustine’s Center in Kampala, Uganda, seven members of the District of East Africa made their Profession of Final Vows in the Congregation of Holy Cross. They were: Rogers Kakeeto, C.S.C., Patrick Mugabo, C.S.C., Agapetus Mukabane, C.S.C., Francis Mukasa, C.S.C., Sebastian Mulinge, C.S.C., John Mwesige, C.S.C., and Alex Okidi, C.S.C.
In preparation for their Final Profession, the seven men all made a retreat just prior to Christmas that was directed by Fr. Tom Smith, C.S.C., the Novice Master at the Holy Cross Novitiate at Lake Saaka.
Receiving their vows in the festive liturgy were Fr. Thomas J. O’Hara, C.S.C., Superior of the United States Province, and Br. Bill Zaydak, C.S.C., Superior of the Moreau Province. O’Hara presided and preached at the Mass, and Zaydak offered words of encouragement to the newly finally professed following Communion.
“Your free choice of the vow of celibacy will be a strong sign and message to all who know you, that your love of God is the primary focus of your life,” said Zaydak. Living the vow of obedience will ensure the common good and help build the kingdom of God. Your living out of the vow of poverty as simplicity of lifestyle, as spiritual dependence on God and solidarity with the poor will help you to live your life fully in the present, to be fully aware of God’s loving presence.”
“By your actions today and through your future living of the vows with a generous spirit and loving heart, know that you inspire us, your confreres in Holy Cross. You strengthen us in our resolve to also follow Jesus through the vowed life in the Congregation of Holy Cross. For this journey together, we are most blessed.”
Of the seven who professed Final Vows, Patrick Mugabo is a brother. The other six were seminarians. The following day, January 5, they were ordained deacons as part of their final preparations to serve the Church and the world as ordained priests.
The Ordination Mass was also held at St. Augustine’s Center, and the Most Rev. Charles Martin Wamika, the bishop of Jinja, Uganda, presided.
“It has been my privilege to journey with these seven men who made their Final Profession in Holy Cross,” said Fr. Patrick Neary, C.S.C., the Superior of the District of East Africa. “They welcomed me to the District of East Africa when I first arrived at McCauley Formation House in Nairobi in June of 2010. Now it is my privilege to welcome them as brothers-for-life in Holy Cross. Knowing them and the kind of good and zealous young men they are, the future for Holy Cross in East Africa continues to look bright.”