A new diocese in Uganda

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity,

Despite our great joy though, we did not have the time to rejoice as it was overshadowed by the unjust and illegal religious invasion of homodox brothers, not respecting the years-long missionary struggle of our Patriarchate, using fraudulent means to scatter the sheep of the Lord’s rational flock and gather them elsewhere taking pride in this “accomplishment”. It is indeed sad and painful to see such moves which endanger the missionary activity as there is a risk that all the efforts we make will be ruined leading to the destruction of what your love and contribution has created so far. However, we must not be afraid, as the man at the helm of the ship of the entire African Church, His Beatitude our Pope and Patriarch, is both experienced and wise, and with his ardent prayers along with ours, the Lord will not abandon us in this trial.

Naturally, our primary goal is to establish the Episcopal Home-Spiritual Center in the city of Jinja and then other centers in smaller cities of our Diocese for a better operation and distribution of relief goods to our needy brothers. And it is here that we knock on the door of your heart. We are well aware of the difficulties. We are not oblivious, but we ask you not to misunderstand us. As David the Prophet says in the 146th psalm, “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. The powerful, the rich and the mighty of this world usually do not care about the many needs of the poor African people living in the Black Continent. Africa, strange as it may sound, is self-sufficient. Nothing is missing to make this beautiful land what it deserves to be; the only thing it lacks is infrastructure. This is what we are trying to do by the grace of God and with your own contribution and support. We strive to make the lives and living standards of our needy brothers better.

A timeless example of this pursuit is the Saints of our Church: Saint Basil the Great, who did so many works of beneficence and charity, but also the other saint closer to our era, Saint Kosmas of Aetolia, who scoured the Greek territory sparing no hardships or afflictions in order to oppose the beast of demonic prejudice with the creation of sacred churches, and to defeat the beast of illiteracy by building schools. This is the example we are trying to follow. We build schools so that our brothers will be able to share the truth, as Christ says, “The truth will set you free.” Knowledge from schools will free people from the darkness of illiteracy. At the same time, we build sacred churches to shake off the yoke of sorcery and superstition so that man can turn to the only source of living water and quench his thirst with the spring waters of the Orthodox Faith.

However, there are also many needs regarding the Evangelization of these souls who are looking for a lifeline in the sea of ignorance; needs to meet the expenses of the catechetical schools as well as religious, medical and of more general nature throughout our Episcopal region. This will be healed to a great extent with the creation of the spiritual center which we mentioned before, since it will be a point of reference but also of collection and distribution of the necessary items. We are saddened by the fact that we tire you with the constant call for help, financial or of more general nature. Bear in mind my beloved and blessed brothers, that by helping the little ones of this world, you are embracing and helping Christ Himself. By helping the Mission and meeting our needs, you are buying your way into Heaven, and a great blessing is coming to you and your families.

At this point we should also express our deep and sincere gratitude to the active Orthodox Missionary Fraternity and its distinguished members who, with their continued support, helped us to open water wells for villages and towns that previously had no access to clean drinking water. And as St. Paul the Apostle of Nations says in his First Epistle to the Thessalonians, “In all things give thanks”, so we do for what is richly and generously offered to us. And at the same time we urge our pious brethren, again with the words of the great St. Paul the Apostle ,”Pray without ceasing” so that the flame of the Mission may not be extinguished but grow and illuminate the ends of the blessed, beautiful and long-afflicted black Continent. May the never-setting Light of the Risen Christ enlighten our hearts, minds and souls. Christ is Risen.

Silvestros of Jinja

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