In 1994, Father Joseph Sserugo, a member of the missionary religious order known as the Apostles of Jesus, made a visit for the first time to St. Vincent DePaul parish in Richboro, Pennsylvania. He went there to make a Mission Appeal, asking Catholics in America to support the work of the Church in other parts of the world. At the time, Father Joseph was serving in Darfur, Sudan.
At the same time, a few of the parishioners at St. Vincent DePaul church had begun a high school youth ministry program. After years of service, the group felt that they needed a greater challenge. Upon their return from their 2006 service project in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, the youth group attended Mass together, which was being celebrated by Father Joseph Sserugo, as part of his annual Mission Appeal. Father Joseph Sserugo extended an invitation to the group to come to his new home in the village of Ibanda, Uganda in East Africa.
The Mission Defined
In 2007 the first group went to Uganda. In planning the trip they asked Father Joseph a standard American question: what will we do when we are in Uganda? He responded: Come and love my people. They went. They met the people. They loved the people!
The experience of this first group was beyond their imagining: the natural beauty of Uganda, the hospitality of the people, the vibrant celebration of faith, the hope in the midst of so much suffering and a desire to build a bridge that would allow this relationship to continue.
As a result of the enthusiasm generated from the first few pilgrimages to Ibanda, Uganda, the group became more determined than ever. In September 2007 the group formed Building a Bridge to Uganda as a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation and 501(c)(3) organization. Each year, since 2007, a group has traveled to Uganda on behalf of Building a Bridge to Uganda. They have been assisting parents with school tuition for their children’s education, assisting the religious sisters who care for orphaned children at Ibanda Babies Home and remaining open to other needs of the community.
Serving Those in Need
Starting from the Foundation
The Story Continues . . .
In 2010 our organization was asked to partner with the Apostles of Jesus in building a Catholic High School for boys and girls in Luwerro, one hour north of Kampala. The school would be named in honor of Saint Pope John Paul II.
The Apostles of Jesus were responding to the great need for post-primary education throughout Africa (less than 7% of students are able to attend secondary school). Building a Bridge to Uganda accepted the challenge and through the generosity of many friends, the school has become a reality. Read more about our work and Pope John Paul II high school here . . .
Educating the Youth
Building a Bridge to Uganda will continue assisting parents with school tuition as well as supporting the Ibanda Babies Home and meeting the many needs of the people of Uganda.
We continue to welcome new women and men who wish to partner in a variety of ways in promoting our work and those who wish to experience the people of Uganda by traveling to Africa. To learn more about how to get involved, click here . . .
With God’s grace and the goodness of many people, the story will continue and history will continue to be made!