Uganda: Archdiocese of Gulu prepares to celebrate the beatification of Comboni missionary priest.
Paul Samasumo -Vatican City.
Archbishop John Baptist Odama told Angella Rwezaula of Vatican News’ KiSwahili Service that the Archdiocese of Gulu feels very blessed to have yet another Blessed in its midst. The Archdiocese already has Blessed Jildo Irwa and Daudi Okello. The two are blessed martyrs of Gulu.
Priest, medical doctor and philanthropist
Father Giuseppe Ambrosoli is best remembered as a beloved priest, surgeon, philanthropist, and educator in the missions of Uganda. He was fondly referred to by Ugandans as the good doctor or the saintly doctor. To this day, people speak fondly about his unique compassion and kindness in caring for patients.
“He will be beatified on 20 November 2022 in the Archdiocese of Gulu but specifically in the parish of Kolongo where he lived and worked. It is about 130 Km from the city of Gulu,” said Archbishop Odama. He added, “This man lived a very simple life. We could say his heart was closely related to that of God. He handled people with God’s love, and one of his famous statements was, ‘God is love and I am his servant to the suffering people.’ It is actually more than just a statement. It is a compelling message. Besides, Fr Ambrosoli often prayed, ‘God free me from myself so that I can love everyone, including those who are not loved by anyone. Let me love them all,’ “testified Archbishop Odama.
We are all called to sainthood
Archbishop Odama continued, “As a doctor, Fr Ambrosoli served everybody. People always felt the presence of God through him. He was a great man of prayer, charity, self-giving, humility, and was one imbued with that universal perspective of life. All I can say is that this man shows that all of us are called to sainthood,” explained the archbishop of Gulu.
Acclaimed a saint
Ambrosoli was born in 1923 in the Province of Como, Italy. He arrived in Uganda in February 1956. While in Gulu, he eventually relocated to Kalongo and founded the Kalongo Hospital. This facility gained a reputation for excellence. For almost 31 years, until 1987, when he died, Fr Ambrosoli cared for Uganda’s sick.
“After he died in 1987, people felt that this man must have been a holy person. So, I took the courage to constitute a small committee to see how we could start the process of beatification … The Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints in the Vatican encouraged us to tell people to pray so that we could have some favours through the intercession of Fr Ambrosoli. About two years ago, a miracle happened in the hospital. A lady with a malignant tumour got healed through the intercession of Fr Ambrosoli,” said the Archbishop Gulu.
Emulate the values of Ambrosoli
According to local media, the Archdiocese of Gulu has a launched a fundraising drive in preparation of the beatification ceremony. The beatification was, in fact, initially scheduled for 22 November 2020 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fr. Achilles Kiwanuka Kasozi, Provincial Superior of the Comboni Missionaries in Uganda, has urged the people to focus more on Fr Ambrosoli’s love for the poor and sick. He has since invited Christians to emulate the val