From Gonzaga and Paskazia Lubega, Maternal Life Uganda
Report On Our Mission to Moroto Diocese Karamoja
23rd February – 7th March 2015
Organized by the Catholic Diocese of Moroto
Conducted and Compiled by Gonzaga and Paskazia Lubega (Mr. and Mrs.) and Catherine Ssekibuule (Mr. and Mrs.), Maternal Life Uganda
Acknowledgement: The completion of these two marriage retreats is a contribution of many efforts and hard work. We would like to acknowledge the following individuals for their invaluable contributions made towards the success of these retreats.
· Special thanks go to Rev Fr. Michael Lubega – Pastoral Coordinator Moroto Diocese for organising the programs, his care, love, support, full-time participation and for soliciting funds for feeding and transporting participants and facilitators.
· Rev Sr. Bruna, Vice pastoral coordinator for all the support given and for providing a conducive environment for all the catechists in training to attend marriage workshops every year.
· The participants for their enthusiasm, active involvement, as well as provision of relevant feedback during the workshops.
· In a special way we thank Maternal Life International – Dr. George Mulcaire-Jones for the financialsupport to the facilitators which made the work lighter as this time we were two couples unlike previous years.
· Lots of thanks for our beloved bishop Rt. Rev Damiano Guilio Guzzetti M.C.C.J. for words of encouragements to us all during the retreat and praying for us during Mass.
· Above all we thank the Almighty God for keeping us safe in that place and granting us a safe travel and for all the testimonies from the couples in that area.
Background: We started conducting marriage workshops (The Faithful House or TFH) in Moroto diocese since 2007, now 9 years ago being organized in two different places Namalu and Kangole catechetical training centre. For the last 8 years we have been giving The Faithful House in Moroto Diocese, we have seen lots of change. We started in Namalu Parish from 23rd Feb -27th March and at Kangole Catechetical training centre from 2nd - 6th March. At Namalu we had 50 couples and Kangole they were 55 couples. This time we had retreats instead of TFH and our theme was Couples are the image of God.
Aim of the workshops: the aim of the programs is:
1) To help couples deepen their relationship with God.
2) To help couples improve their communication
3) To help couples develop a common vision.
4) To stop domestic violence
5) To help couples evaluate their cultures and eliminate negative practices, especially those that enslave women
6) To educate parents on the importance of educating THE GIRL CHILD
7) To help couples Matrimonise their marriages
Introduction of the Retreat: Unlike the previous years, when we have had the Faithful House, this time we had a retreat and the theme was couples are called to be images of love as it was stated by Pope Francis in his address to the families. In these retreats we had more time to deepen our relationship with God and one another.
We focused so much on knowing what marriage is all about and the obstacles to living the vocation of marriage. One of it is failure to LEAVE, CLEAVE & BECOMING ONE BODY so our main sharing was on Gen. 2: 24, “That is why a man leaves….” The two retreats were very successful and well attended.
After the 1st retreat, we had a day with the Bishop of Moroto and during the 2nd retreat he came to the program and he was very happy about the work we have done in Karamoja. NB In 2007 when we begun our mission in Moroto, the current bishop of Moroto by then was a parish priest of Matany parish and as we taught he was the one translating for us as he is very fluent in Karamojong language.
We have been working with Augustine and Catherine SSekibuule in marriage workshops since 1999 and they were part of the team that developed TFH 2005. This time it was very good as a team to work together in Karamoja.