In Our Own Words

After returning to Cedarburg, Associate Pastor Fr. Dan Janasik and the five parishioners who accompanied him to Uganda, shared something about their experiences. All of the following articles were published in our parish bulletin.

Fr-Dan-with-nursery-school-kidsFROM THE PASTOR’S DESK (Part 1):

by Associate Pastor Fr. Dan Janasik

From Monday, July 27 to Thursday, August 6, I traveled with parishioners Tom and Karen Guszkowski, Cindy Poling, Anne Pagel and Michelle Hufford to our twinning parish of St. Paul’s in Mukono, Uganda. We went with a special focus upon the parish schools, but our overall goal was to build the bonds of friendship between St. Paul and St. Francis Borgia parishes. To that end the pilgrimage was a great success! From the moment we stepped off the plane, the people of St. Paul’s welcomed us with open arms. They invited us into their homes for discussions, food and fellowship. More…

Pictured: Fr. Dan Janasik with children from the St. Paul nursery school

Fr-Dan-at-tabernacleFROM THE PASTOR’S DESK (Part 2):

by Associate Pastor Fr. Dan Janasik

I am often asked what struck me the most from my recent trip to Uganda. I think there are two different ways of looking at our time in Mukono. On the surface we saw lots of negatives. Unbelievable poverty was all around us. Things that we easily take for granted – things like clean water, electricity, and paved roads – these are things that most of the Ugandan people live without. On the surface it’s easy to see the toll that years of violence and government corruption have taken upon the majority of Uganda’s people.

But when we looked deeper, beyond the surface, we constantly saw God’s amazing grace right in front of us. More…

Pictured: Fr. Dan Janasik, Fr. Paul Ssebitoogo, and the new tabernacle

St-paul-church--interiorUGANDA PILGRIMAGE: Progress Since 2001

by Karen Guszkowski, Twinning Committee Member

The journey this summer to Uganda was my second. I went with the first group of pilgrims in 2001, when our twinning relationship with St. Paul the Apostle parish in Mukono, Uganda was new, and we didn’t know what to expect. We were worried about going to exotic Africa, catching diseases, and communicating with strange people. In 2009, going back to Uganda was filled with joyful anticipation of visiting with loving friends. More…

Pictured: Interior of St. Paul the Apostle church in Mukono

New-schoolUGANDA PILGRIMAGE: Our Five Loaves and Two Fishes

by Tom Guszkowski, Twinning Committee Member

Why do we send money from St. Francis Borgia parish in Cedarburg to a church in Africa half way around the world? My answer to this question has changed over the course of the last nine years.

Initially, when my wife Karen approached SFB pastor, Fr. George Gajdos, about having an international twinning relationship, I felt it was appropriate that we share our blessings with those less fortunate. Wasn’t it part of Christ’s Great Commission that we go forth to teach all nations? Many other Catholic churches had such twinning relationships, so it was a very “Catholic thing to do.” And when it was settled that we would twin with a parish in Africa, my thought was “it doesn’t matter to me where we send our money.” More…

Pictured: Tom Guszkowski at the building site of the new high school, which is to be called St. Francis Borgia Secondary School

Nursery-school-exteriorUGANDA PILGRIMAGE: Acceptance, Love, Appreciation, Hope

by Cindy Poling, Twinning Committee Member

I was very fortunate to travel with Twinning Committee members this summer to Uganda. It was my first trip and my decision to go was made with much anticipation and concern. Many people have asked me, “Was it as you envisioned? Did you find it life-changing?”

In Uganda, I experienced acceptance, love, appreciation and hope. The people we met at St. Paul Parish and throughout Uganda were much like ourselves. They had love of God, family and community. Many sent their children to boarding schools to give them the chance for the best education possible. This meant working hard to financially support their family and meet the many needs of others around them. They are so much like ourselves, but with greater difficulty to accomplish many of the everyday tasks we take for granted. More…

Pictured: Nursery school at St. Paul Parish in Mukono

Boy-in-primitive-classroomUGANDA PILGRIMAGE: The Schools

by Anne Pagel, Twinning Committee

One aspect of society that remains a priority throughout the world, regardless of culture, economies or government, is education. Traveling to Uganda this summer, I, along with a small group of SFB parishioners, had the opportunity to see the educational opportunities afforded those living in Uganda, Africa. In addition to visiting St. Paul’s nursery school, we visited four sub-parish schools, a private school run by a member of the St. Paul’s Women’s Guild, and a secondary school. As an educator, I was particularly interested in the similarities and differences between education here and in Uganda.

I had hoped to find the same devotion and commitment to children and teaching that is prevalent in the profession; what I found was so much more. More…

Pictured: Student in a classroom of a subparish school

SchoolchildrenUGANDA PILGRIMAGE: Joyous and Spiritual Hearts Amid Poverty

by Michelle Hufford

An instrumental thought I used during the journey to Uganda was from a prayer and reflection booklet provided by Sister Rosemary and Sister Fran from the World Missions Ministry in our Archdiocese of Milwaukee. These nuns were instrumental in establishing our twinning relationship with St. Paul’s in Mukono. In one reflection was a suggestion that as we approach our brothers and sisters in Uganda “to take off our shoes, for the place we are approaching is holy, and we may forget that God was there before our arrival.”

How true and relevant that advice was. Everywhere I looked, God was evident, most especially in the joyous faces all around. More…

Pictured: School children welcome visitors from St. Francis Borgia