On the third day of His Eminence’s visit to Uganda – Palabek particularly, he stopped for a brief visit at the “Little Sisters of Mary Immaculate” of Gulu living in the camp (St Daniel Comboni), who work closely with the Salesian mission of Palabek, while en route to the Don Bosco Vocational Training Center – Palabek (VTC), which is located nine kilometers from the Salesian community. There, he blessed the local community.

Several Salesian priests co-celebrated the Eucharistic ceremony. Additionally, His Eminence blessed and opened a new “Church of the Resurrection” at this Holy mass. He conveyed his appreciation for being with the Salesian family, his confreres, and the people of Palabek in his homily. “This is the beginning of the Salesian mission among you, we promised to do much more for you”, His Eminence added.

He continued, “We ought to react to God’s love for us at all times.” He promised to pray for every resident of the Palabek refugee settlement as he ended his homily.

Following the Eucharistic celebration, His Eminence toured the Technical Institute, stopping at each workshop (hairdressing, motorcycle repair, tailoring, welding, agriculture, information and communications technology, building, Electricity/ Solar and Carpentry). He was particularly impressed with the Salesian work being done among the settlement’s impoverished population.

In the afternoon, His Eminence made a tour of the settlement in order to meet the catechist who helps the refugees grow spiritually and to have a glimpse of the refugees’ daily lives there. The catechist followed a custom among the Nuer tribe of South Sudan that involves “washing the feet” of His Eminence as a symbol of hospitality, or a warm welcome, when they arrived at St. Mary’s Chapel at the Palabek refugee community.

An evening named “Among you, I feel good” featured performances in music, dance, and drama by several groups from the Salesian oratories at the settlement. The cultural presentation was concluded by the blessing from His Eminence Cardinal ANGEL FERNANDEZ ARTIME.

Deacon Godwin Cekecan, SDB.