The following selections have been taken from
the White Fathers / White Sisters magazines,
kindly lent by Pat Menzies


by Dr Klein

August-Sept 1969
A brief history of the White Sisters by Sister Anne Gallagher WS August-Sept 1969
My First Solo by Fr Brian Garvey WF June-July 1969
On Safari at Rwera by Fr Peter Kelly WF February-March 1967
Pope Paul VI : Uganda by Fr Aylward Shorter October-November 1969

The following article was taken from the White Fathers / White Sisters magazine, Issue No. 167 dated August-September 1969 :


Dr. Theodore Klein

(Dr Klein lectures in the PopeJohn XXIII National Seminary, Weston, Massachusetts, USA.)

Carthage is one of the most interesting places that I have ever visited. This once famous city of North Africa is located on the Mediterranean coast about ten miles north-east of Tunis, the capital of the Republic of Tunisia. Although the fame of Carthage lies in the distant past, even today you can sense its rich history by wandering through the ruins of antiquity still standing there. Let's take a closer look at it.

Golden Area
Carthage, pronounced locally as Car-tezsh, is one of the oldest places in the world. It dates way back to the ninth century, B.C., at which time it became a colony of the Phoenicians. Under these seafaring people Carthage grew into the centre of a civilisation which spread far along the shores of the Mediterranean, and its port gained significance for trade and commerce. Carthage also played an important role in the Punic Wars with Rome, its rival, that we read about in our history books when we were in school.

Remember Hannibal? He came from Carthage. You will also remember that Rome, was the victor in these wars, so Carthage eventually came under its empire.

During the Roman occupation, Carthage played a prominent role in the spreading of the Gospel to the shores of North Africa. It was both a gateway by sea through which Christianity entered and a principal settlement of the peoples who brought this new religion to this part of the world. These Christians must have arrived there
very early, since many of them were already living there in the second century. At this time Christians were being persecuted all over the empire, and many martyrs of the Carthage area lost their lives in the arena. Prominent among these were Saints Cyprian, Felicitas and Perpetua.

Many of the ruins that you see today in Carthage date back to this period. You can also find remembrances of early Christianity in the museums of Carthage and Tunis, particularly the Bardo.

St. Cyprian was a famous Bishop of Carthage late in the second century, by which time numerous local churches existed in the area. By the fourth century, the persecutions were at an end and Christianity had become the official faith throughout the Roman empire. As we shall Soon see, this was perhaps the Church's golden era in the history of Christianity in North Africa.

Besides Cyprian, the names of Tertullian and Augustine should be mentioned in connection with this period. Tertullian, a famous Christian writer, was born in Carthage and became a priest. St. Augustine, who was Bishop of the nearby diocese of Hippo, went to school in Carthage.

Decline and comeback
With the decline of the Roman empire, North Africa came under the control of other foreign powers. First it was the Vandals and then it was the Byzantine empire. In the meantime, the Church had gradually been growing weak as a result of schisms and heresy problems, and Carthage played a significant role in coping with them. But the growth of Christianity never again was like it was in the first few centuries. In fact, the Church received a major setback when, in the seventh century, Moslems from the Middle East began their conquest of virtually all of North Africa. Although the Church has continued to exist in North Africa, it has made little headway over the years. Perhaps St. Louis of France had this in mind when he stopped off at Carthage, and died there, during the period of the Crusades.

Ruins in Carthage of the Punic. Roman and Arabic civilisations.
In the background: the former Catholic Cathedral.

Centuries later, when this part of Africa came under the French colonial system, the famous French Cardinal Lavigerie tried to revive the Church's influence in Carthage and North Africa. He was responsible for the building of St. Louis Cathedral, which stands on a high hill in Carthage, and for the founding of the White Fathers, many of whom received their training for the priesthood in the local seminary.

(source : Peter Finn)

A view of the Carthage Basilica and scholasticate where so very many WFs studied and were ordained.

Carthage Today
Today, even though the capital city has become Tunisia's chief urban centre, Carthage is still of some significance. You are aware of this from the moment you arrive by plane. The name of the airport is 'Tunis-Carthage' and it is located on the Tunis-Carthage highway which links the two places together. When you arrive in the city of Tunis you will see that one of the main streets is Rue Carthage.

Furthermore, Carthage has become a fashionable suburb. The Bey of Tunis had his palace here during the colonial period and today the President of the Republic, Habib Bourgiba, lives there. For that matter, many others live there because it is so easy to commute back and forth to Tunis. You can go by car or train from one place to the other in a matter of minutes. The train ride is very inexpensive and trains run frequently from downtown Tunis to Carthage.

Finally, Carthage is one of the principal tourist attractions of Tunisia. Of course, many visitors come here because of its past history. For this reason there are well-informed guides to meet them near the train station. These fellows can do a fine job of showing you around for a small fee. Carthage is also an attractive place to visit because of its beaches which border on the blue-green Mediterranean.

Those who are always looking for different places to visit, and would like to get a taste of Africa, might wish to consider Carthage. Perhaps it sounds like one of those far-off places, but that need not be so. Actually, you can arrive at the Tunis-Carthage airport in about an hour's flying time from Rome, and boats can make the trip there in a day from France. As such, you could include a side trip to North Africa on your next holiday abroad without much difficulty.

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In The Beglnnlng 1869-1969
by Sister Anne Gallagher WS

Taken from the White Fathers / White Sisters magazine
Issue No. 167 dated August-September 1969 :

Everything has a beginning. Sometimes things begin without anyone being aware of it. How often people look back and say, "That's where we first met" or "When that happened, we didn't realise what it would lead to".

Religious Congregations often begin that way. A man or woman starts a charitable work, others join, they decide to combine their efforts. Then the need for organisation is seen, the need for a deeper spiritual basis for it all, and, in time, the need for some sort of approbation. Often there arise mistrust, opposition-sometimes violent, deliberate thwarting by those suspicious of anything new. When the work is of God, it wins through.

The beginning of the Congregation commonly known as the White Sisters was quite different. The Bishop of Algiers, Charles Lavigerie, had begun a Society of Missionary Priests the year after his arrival in Algiers in 1867, with a small group of seminarians who had realised that apostolic work among the Arabs was urgent, and had offered themselves to the Bishop for that purpose. It was the Bishop himself who realised that women missionaries were indispensable if anything was to be done for Arab women, and he sent one of his priests to Brittany to find girls who would respond to the challenge.

Religious vocations were not uncommon among the Bretons, where the Faith was strong. But this was religious vocation with a difference. Just what Father LeMauff said in his sermons, we do not know. He must have depicted the plight of the women and children then suffering the terrible aftermath of the cholera epidemic of 1867, the need for women who would work among them, the plan of Bishop Lavigerie to found a Religious Congregation for the purpose. And eight young women went back to Algiers with him. 6Irtllt/.,

It was the evening of September 8th, 1869. The Archbishop had a deep and tender devotion to Our Blessed Lady and rejoiced at the thought of his new religious family being born on her own birthday, but as he looked out on the stormy sea, he was conscious only of anxiety for the girls who were already risking their lives to answer his call. It was mid-morning on the 9th when the boat finally arrived and eight frightened young ladies gazed wide eyed at the jostling crowds of Arabs. "However shall we convert all these?" murmured one of them.

They received a fatherly welcome and were taken to the Convent of the Sisters of St. Charles, whom Bishop Lavigerie had asked to train them as religious missionaries. Gradually, as the days went by, they realised that the Congregation which they had come to join was—just themselves. The eldest of them was twenty-eight, the youngest seventeen and a half. With rare courage, they carried on.

As they trained, they helped the Sisters of St. Charles to look after the 800 orphans who had found refuge there after weeks of wandering from their devastated villages. There were fields to plough, vineyards to tend, and from time to time the young novices welcomed newcomers to their small religious family which was gradually taking shape. For some, the life they led proved too hard and they returned home. For all, the Bishop was a true Father, taking interest in every detail of their lives, guiding their formation, and realising more and more the need for women apostles in the continent that was then practically unknown to Europe.

First General
In 1871, another Breton girl joined them, Marie Renée Roudaut. Her cousin had been a novice in Algiers but failing health had obliged her to return home. Marie Renée asked her what it was like and made up her mind to go. Little did she dream she would one day be the first Superior General of this new Institute. After profession, Sister Marie Salome, as Marie Renee was nOw called, was sent to EI Attaf in the Sahara to bake bread for the hospital. It was a critical period for the nascent Congregation. Lavigerie wanted women missionaries, but among those Providence had sent him, he could discern no one with the qualities of leadership he thought necessary. He had noted Sister Marie Salome's outstanding virtue and soon appointed her Superior of the community of EI Attaf, but he did not deem her capable of anything more than that. Her community quickly grew to appreciate her calm and deeply supernatural mode of governing and when the first General Chapter was held, she was elected as Superior General.

Why was Archbishop Lavigerie so slow to give his confidence to this humble, silent woman who radiated serenity? He recognised her holiness-but thought her not sufficiently educated. Her deep faith was combined with a well-balanced judgment worth far more than book-knowledge, but anxiety for his future Congregation prevented the Founder from giving her his full confidence. His Society of White Fathers, founded almost at the same time, was now well established, and its Superiors had no difficulty in recognising the worth of Mother Marie Salome, nor did they hesitate to point it out to the Founder.

Put to the test

Then came the crucial test. Lavigerie had attempted to amalgamate the new Institute with older-established Congregations, but his missionary Sisters had always held on to the ideals he had himself set before them when they first came, of being exclusively dedicated to the salvation of Africa. In 1885, convinced that the Congregation could not possibly endure, Lavigerie-now Cardinal obtained from Rome a decree for its dissolution. No more candidates were to be accepted and it was slowly to die out. The gentle and quietly-spoken Superior General heard of the decision-and before the decree had left Archbishop's house, she and a chosen companion were on their knees before him, begging him to wait, not to promulgate the decree, to share their belief that the Holy Spirit was at work and would justify his trust if only he would give it.

The Cardinal was angry at such opposition. "Punish me, but not the whole Congregation," pleaded Mother Marie Salome. She and her companion knelt before the statue of Our Lady of Africa and vowed that if the Congregation were allowed to continue, a statue would be placed in front of the Mother-House in testimony of their gratitude.

The statue is there, the date "1885" inscribed upon it. The Congregation is there, over 2,000 strong, from every part of the world, including Africa. The apostolate is the same-to help the women of Africa to attain their eternal destiny, to make their lives happier, fuller, more what God meant them to be.

The beginning was signed with the Cross—and the Cross can never be absent from any Christian undertaking. To those who object to women "wasting their lives courting death", by going to work in Africa, there can only be one answer: a look at the crucifix. When Christ came into the world self -emptying no purely human being can ever achieve-He knew what awaited Him, He knew how His life would end. And still He came and dwelt amongst us.

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My First Solo
Christmas at Kapolyo, Zambia

by Fr Brian Garvey WF
Taken from the White Fathers / White Sisters magazine
Issue No. 166 dated June-July 1969 :

Every fledgling pilot has to make, one fine day, his first solo flight. Every trainee surgeon has also, at some time or other, to take responsibility for an operation. A newly-arrived missioner in Africa has a similar ordeal to go through—his first solo tour of duty in the bush among people who speak and understand nothing but their local tongue.

One learns a language slowly, haltingly, sometimes with confidence in an increasing ability, occasionally with something nearer despair.

One gradually learns a little about the customs, problems, manners and difficulties of the area. By accompanying experienced missionaries as they tour the bush, living with them in wattled huts or bush chapels, one slowly discovers how the thing is done, what one should not forget, what must be remembered at all costs.

But sooner or later, one has to face the problems of missionary life alone—with a dictionary and the grace of God.

Off on tour
My first solo tour occurred last Christmas. I had volunteered to help out in a mission parish during the seminary holidays, and the parish priest asked me to spend a few days at the out-station of Kapolyo, about fifteen miles from the mission centre. In his letter he advised me to have two sermons well prepared, one for the Sunday and the other for the Christmas Mass.

The first difficulty about ministering to parishioners at an African bush station is that of getting to them. Fifteen miles of rough road and track may not seem far, but if your motorcycle is as old and temperamental as mine, and if you know as little about its internal functions as I do, then this can be a major obstacle.

As it happened, my ancient moped decided that day to proceed at a steady five miles an hour and no faster, and I really wasn't surprised when it gave up the ghost altogether two miles from my destination. In fact I felt rather relieved.

I pushed the mechanical monstrosity along the track leading to the out-station and eventually rounded a bend to see the bush chapel in front of me. A group of men was standing by the door. The ordeal by language had begun.

My plans for the few days I was to spend at Kapolyo had been very simple. I would hear confessions, visit the sick and bring the sacraments to them and read (as un-ostententatiously as I could) my carefully prepared sermons. Unfortunately, no one had told me that the Legion of Mary was a notable feature of the Kapolyo congregation, and I had arrived in the middle of a full-scale meeting.

I was welcomed with that politeness and ceremony that one encounters in Africa, and ushered into the chapel and given a seat. For about ten minutes I listened attentively, trying to follow the very rapid exchanges between legionaries. Then the leader turned to me and said, with disarming lack of ceremony, "Father, preach."

"What? Preach? Now?"
"Yes," was the answer. "Father, you have to come. Preach."


As I got to my feet, my mind groped backwards toward those meticulously written Christmas sermons, of which I could remember not a word.

"My brethren."

So far so good.

"We honour our Lady because she is God's mother . . . but she is our mother also . . . the mother of all Christians. . ."

Now I was really in deep water. The word "mother" is translated into Chibemba by half a dozen entirely different words, according to whether one means "my mother", "your mother", "his mother", etc.

To hit on the right formula in an emergency must take years of practice, and I could see by the expressions on the faces of the old ladies that they were no longer sure whose mother I was talking about. The men and the boys stared at me expressionlessly. It would not be polite to show either their consternation or amusement.

I stumbled on, trying to introduce another theme less fraught with semantic pit-holes. How I got through those ten minutes, I would rather not remember. Only one assertion did I make with authority and relief: "The preaching is finished. I will now hear confessions,"

Later, when confessions were over, the catechist came to see me about the programme for the remaining days. "Er, tomorrow, Father, will you preach during Mass?" I told him that I would, and feeling that he needed some assurance, I showed him the manuscript of my sermon.

"Ah yes, Father.. .That is good, very good." The relief on his face was obvious as he read something that seemed actually comprehensible.

No rain
After such a beginning, I felt that little more could go wrong with my Christmas at Kapolyo, and indeed little did.

There were odd difficulties, of course, such as trying to explain to deaf septuagenarians why it was that I was not carrying supplies of medicines for all their particular ailments. But there was also the satisfaction of carrying Christ to the sick in remote villages and seeing the faith of the people who thus benefited.

My prepared preaching was accepted without comment, and the Christmas Mass had to be celebrated in the open air, such was the crowd that gathered around the bush chapel on that Christmas morning. I think it was really the fact that an open-air Mass passed off without rain, despite threatening clouds that were rolling overhead, that eventually satisfied the people of Kapolyo that I was acceptable as a missionary, even though I said very peculiar things in my Chibemba.

Father Brian Garvey, from Sydenham, is now stationed at Mulobola parish in Zambia.

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On Safari at Rwera

by Fr Peter Kelly WF

Taken from the White Fathers / White Sisters magazine
Issue No. 152 dated February-March 1967

Setting off on safari: Fr. Kelly with his Volkswagen, the two Sisters and the catechist.
In front of them,
a case with personal clothes, briefcase containing parish records and papers,
a biscuit tin of hosts, bag with books for sale, Mass kit, baptismal water (and drinking water) in
cardboard box, cooking gear, food, stove, lamp, camp-bed, bedding, folding chair for confessions


I have now been at Rwera some three and a half months and I am getting more and more into the work of the parish. Rwera is one of the biggest parishes in the diocese. One of the main centres, where there are a great many people, is thirty miles away to the east; another large centre is twenty miles to the south-west. In all there are eight main centres at distances of between ten and twenty miles. We are kept busy moving round the parish as we try to visit all the centres every six weeks, and more often if we can.

There are lots of roads and tracks and we can reach all sorts of out-of-the-way places by car. But there are also some very hilly areas where the only means of access is on foot. Two weeks ago I had a sick call which took me on a round walk of five miles once I had left the car. On sick calls like this we are often accompanied by a large number of people who recite the Rosary as we walk along.

I have mentioned a car. Previously I had a motor bike but this proved to be more and more inadequate for the work to be done. On a motor bike it is not possible to take the necessary luggage. A car looks after this, and enables us to take the catechist, the Sisters and the parish clerk to help with the work in the centres. It gives good protection against the rain and does away with the constant danger of falling off the motor bike on the rough earth roads. You may remember the bad spill I had in trying to avoid a stray cow. . .

The car is a Volkswagen. They have proved themselves time and again and stand up to the rough roads and the bush country far better than any other car of its size. As neither the bishop, the diocese nor the parish have the wherewithal to buy transport for the priests, my home parish of Tunbridge Wells has come to the rescue.

When we go on safari to the centres, we usually spend some two or three days in each. At first I was going out with one of the other priests, but two weeks ago I started to go out by myself. I arrived on Friday at ten in the morning and heard confessions until twelve. I said Mass, had something to eat, rested a while and then heard confessions from two until half past six.

After I had finished confessions there were a number of people who wanted to see me. With the help of the catechists, who repeated clearly and slowly, and with the added help of a dictionary, I managed to work out more or less what the people were saying.

Funny things often happen with the language. I was alone in the parish one day when a woman came up to me and said something which sounded important.

Although I got her to repeat it slowly several times, I still could not understand. I did manage to catch the key word, but not knowing what it meant, I failed to grasp the whole sentence. So I went through to my private room to get the dictionary. I then discovered that she was simply telling me that she had come to greet me!

The language is coming very slowly but there is a long way to go yet. I hear confessions, train the servers (you can see some of them in the picture), and talk with people about all sorts of things. Safaris are a wonderful opportunity for language practice.

I have not yet started to preach or catechise, although I hope to start doing this after Christmas.

It was soon seven o'clock and nightfall. Long summer evenings are unknown out here. Daytime is roughly from seven to seven all the year round without any twilight. They had cooked me some supper, the local staple diet of cooked bananas with sauce. If it is well cooked, it can be very tasty. A nicely cooked chicken was to be added to the menu the following day.

Busy Weekend
After supper some of the people living nearby came to entertain me with singing and dancing. They go on all night if you let them, but I asked them to go early so that I could finish my Office and get a good night's sleep. Next to the church in these centres there is a small hut made of mud and wattle with a corrugated iron roof. It is built specially for the priest and although it might sound primitive it really is quite serviceable. Some of the huts have three rooms and there is plenty of space. We usually sleep there unless the centre is very near the parish.

The next day I started at 8:30 and I was busy all day hearing confessions and baptising the babies that had arrived since the last visit of the priest. There were 400 Communions at Mass and it was the same again on the Sunday.

It rained heavily on the Saturday night. It makes a tremendous roar on the corrugated iron roofs so that you cannot hear people speak. Luckily, though, I was able to sleep through even this. After Mass on the Sunday I went off on a sick call but it was not too far away. I eventually got back to the parish centre at about three o'clock. Things had been busy there as well. It is not uncommon for the people to walk in ten or twelve miles on the Saturday afternoon to go to confession, spend the night nearby, go to Mass the next morning and walk home again.

Fr. Kelly with some of the Mass servers he trained.

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Pope Paul VI in Uganda

Extracts from Fr Aylward Shorter's Diary

Taken from the White Fathers / White Sisters magazine
Issue No. 168 dated October-November 1968

Mass at Kololo, Kampala

July 23rd
There -- are papal flags, city and national flags, shields, flower boxes, and triumphal arches all over Kampala. The Government has also given generously to the cost of building the Namugongo shrine. The build-up for the visit has been excellent. Pope badges, Pope shirts, hats, dresses, ties and scarves, Pope ash-trays, Pope teatrays, and even Pope umbrellas have been on sale for a long time. Special stamps and coins have also been issued.

July 24th
Bishop Brosnahan concelebrated Mass with the Gaba staff and students. In the afternoon I gave my lecture at Makerere. On my return to Gaba the Archbishop-elect (Milingo) of Lusaka arrived. Several press men have also arrived.

July 25th
More bishops arrived today. A big contingent on the plane from Lagos came in after dark. Cardinal Sidarouss, from Cairo, appeared in the afternoon and I took him on a tour of our institute. He was fascinated by a column of soldier ants he saw crossing the path.

(Left : The Pope on board the jetliner which took him to Uganda, along with an entourage of assistants and journalists).

July 26th
Arose at 5.45 a.m. and supervised the English concelebration at which Archbishop Amissah of Cape Coast, Ghana, was the principal celebrant. After breakfast I took part in a French concelebration at which Archbishop Perraudin was the principal celebrant. Bishops continued to arrive all day and I was still waiting up at 2.15 a.m. in order to meet two Archbishops coming in from Madagascar. Finally I went to bed, and sure enough they arrived at 4.25 a.m. I rose and dressed and showed them to their rooms. Then went back to bed and rose at 6.30 a.m.

July 27th
The French concelebration was well attended and the English one was packed. There were 36 concelebrants. Archbishops Arinze of Onitsha and Aggey of Lagos arrived just as we were starting. In the afternoon Cardinal Rugambwa, from Dar-es-Salaam and Archbishop Pignedoli from Rome and the Pro-Nuncio, Archbishop Poggi arrived for an ice-breaking discussion.

July 28th
The opening session of the Bishops' Symposium started at 12.30. The hall was packed and the press had to be content for the most part with peering through the windows. Cardinal Rugambwa welcomed the participants and introduced the various speakers.

July 29th
In the afternoon I went to the Press Conference where the Press Representatives managed to put their fingers on all the embarrassing questions. Cardinal Zoungrana, from Upper Volta, was very good on the question of importing false European problems into Africa and Father van Asten, the Superior General of the White Fathers, addressed the Symposium on the subject of the ministry, asking the Bishops to set up a committee to study without prejudice the question of a married clergy.

July 30th
The Bishops concelebrated a Requiem for deceased missionaries at 11.30 a.m. Bishop Nkalanga, of Kabale, Uganda, preached in English and Archbishop Zoa of Cameroon preached in French. More and more Bishops arrived today—those not participating in the Symposium.

July 31st
The Day of Splendour"-—to quote the headlines of the Uganda Argus. The Bishops concelebrated at 10.30 and I assisted Cardinal Rugambwa as before. We watched the Pope's arrival on television at 3 p.m. The Italian television produced superb pictures of the scene at Entebbe. We set off by bus for Rubaga Cathedral at 4.30 p.m. From the clock-tower all the way down the Entebbe Road and all the way up to Rubaga, the pavements were jam-packed with a colossal crowd. I have never seen anything like that tunnel of humanity through which we passed.

We waited in the Cathedral two hours for the Pope's coming. The interior was decorated with white and yellow silk and the choirs were already singing and drumming. Archbishop Cabana, W.F. the former Archbishop of Rubaga, was given a standing ovation when he entered the Cathedral. The Bishops and Cardinals then arrived, among them Cardinals Tisserant, Villot and Agagianian, followed by the Heads of State: Presidents Nyerere, Kaunda, Mcombero and Kayibanda. President and Mrs. Obote of Uganda were given seats of honour in the nave.

At 6 o'clock the bells and drums sounded and when the Pope entered the crowd went wild. After greeting the crowd in English, French and Luganda, the Pope sat down while an epistle was read in English and French. We then sang the Alleluia and Cardinal Rugambwa read the address on behalf of all the African Bishops. After the Pope had made his reply, he gave pectoral crosses to the members of the symposium, delivered the Papal blessing and went to pray at the tomb of Archbishop Kiwanuka, the first African Bishop. There was immense applause as he left the Cathedral.

The Pope addressing the Ugandan Parliament

August 1st
After breakfast we left for Kololo Hill at 7.30. It was estimated that there were half a million people there. Everywhere there were signs: "Rubaga Parish welcomes the Pope", "Gulu Catechists welcome the Pope", and even "Pepsi welcomes the Pope". In the brilliant sunshine the consecration ceremony of the twelve new Bishops turned out to be a complete success in spite of sundry hazards and hitches. The reading of the Bishops names—those to be consecrated—was very impressive and as each country was named there was wild applause.

The Bishops of the Symposium concelebrated with the Pope and the other Cardinals and Bishops, among whom was Cardinal Gracias of Bombay, came forward to lay their hands on the newly consecrated bishops. At the consecration I ascended the altar steps together with another 99 priests. We each received a ciborium of 200 hosts to distribute communion to the crowd. An usher attached himself to me and was very useful in helping me to find would-be communicants. One of the Gaba students had the happiness of giving communion to Presidents Nyerere, Kayibanda and Mcombero.

After the ceremony the Pope shook hands with the altar boys, and distributed rings and pectoral crosses to the new Bishops. It was announced that their mitres, croziers and vestments were a present from the Pope. It was also announced that the Pope's own vestments, mitre and crozier were being presented to Rubaga Cathedral.

The Pope left in an open car and I was called forward to help guard the precious things at the altar. I stood guard over the Pope's vestments, mitre and crozier as the crowd surged forward on to the platform. The people wanted to touch the vestments, kiss the crozier and place rosaries on the Pope's throne. I had to call a policeman to control the crowds because it was in danger of collapsing under the weight of the thousands crawling all over it.

I spent the rest of the day at Gaba watching the television and retired early.

August 2nd
At 7.15 we departed by bus for Namugongo which we reached in just under an hour. The place was thronged with people. I was again among the priests who were to give communion to the people. The altar, built on an island connected to the mainland by a narrow bridge, had a thatched canopy supported by pillars decorated with reeds.

The canopy was hung with barkcloth and decorated with gourdsa truly African decor. At 9.45 we heard the broadcast of the Pope's visit to the Church of Uganda shrine a mile away. Archbishop Erica Sabiti of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, greeted the Pope, who then went to kneel at the place where the 19 Catholics and Protestants were burnt.

He was then presented with a copy of Dr. Pirouet's book on the Martyrs of Uganda, introduced to the other Anglican Bishops (all of them African except one) and listened to two Scripture readings. Archbishop Sabiti spoke in praise of the work of the Ugandan Christian Council of which Bishop McCauley is president. Then the Pope and the Archbishop recited the Lord's Prayer and called down the Holy Spirit on the Assembl.y.

At the shrine
At 9.05 we heard shouting and we knew that the Pope had reached the C'atholic shrine on the top of the hill. In its unfinished state the shrine looks rather like a fairground machine, or a "big dipper". The Pope kissed the ground on which St. Charles Lwanga was burnt and then consecrated the altar of the shrine. He also blessed a score of foundation stones for other buildings in East Africa.

The Pope venerates the ground on which the Ugandan Martyrs died.

Once on the island the Pope bowed to President Obote and the other Heads of State, waved to the crowds and then began the Mass. A Tanzanian Gaba student read the epistle in Swahili and a Ugandan read the Gospel in Luganda. The Pope gave a splendid homily, simple, direct, and in question-and-answer form which all the African English speakers present could understand. It was about the beauty of the Christian faith for which the Uganda martyrs had died and into which young Christians were to be baptised at this Mass. After the singing of the Credo and a short Litany, the Pope baptised and confirmed twenty-two young Africans. One was wearing a splendid Acholi ostrich feather headdress, which had to be removed when he came to be baptised. They were also given white gowns to wear. At the Communion, the Pope gave First Communion to the newly baptised and to twentytwo small children of all races who looked very sweet in their white satin suits and dresses.

After the Mass Archbishop Nsubuga of Kampala gave President Obote an unscheduled invitation on to the island. The Pope thanked the President for all the Government had done and the President announced that the new road from Kireka to Namugongo was to be called Pope Paul VI Road. The Pope and the President then left the island arm in arm and the crowd went wild with delight.

During the day the Pope received a Moslem delegation and joined together with them in prayer. 11here were banners proclaiming the heroism of the Moslem martyrs along the N amugongo road. We got back to Gaba at 2 p.m. and later I left by car for a semi-private audience with the Pope at Rubaga for organisers of the visit. The Pope gave a bronze bas-relief of the martyrs to Namugongo, a medal to each of the organisers and a mystery present to Gaba, the identity of which we do not yet know. He also presented 20,000 dollars to the Namugongo shrine, and medals to all the newly baptis ed, confirmed and communicated.

The Pope consecrates the shrine to the Uganda Martyrs on the island of Namugongo

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