July 19, 2010

Where Sisters of Mercy Minister: Uganda (23)

Last Sunday, on 11 July 2010, as much of the world watched the World Cup finals, 74 people were killed and 70 injured in twin bombings that took place near Kampala, the capitol of Uganda. Spectators were watching the final 10 minutes of play at a rugby club and at an Ethiopian restaurant in Uganda when the bombs exploded. The bombs are believed to have been orchestrated by Somali al-Shabab militants who want the withdrawal of Ugandan peacekeepers from Somali.

Sisters of Mercy from Australia went to Uganda in 2002 as part of Mercy Refugee Service, in association with Jesuit Refugee Service, under Mercy Works Inc. They ministered on the Ugandan-Sudanese border with Sudanese refugees. Today, Mary Frances Walshe rsm, a Sister of Mercy belonging to the Institute of the Americas, West Midwest Community, ministers in the district of Mbarara in western Uganda.

Frances Walshe rsm, Director of Counselor Training Program, St. Francis Family Helper Program
Photo taken by Genemarie Beegan rsm and posted at http://picasaweb.google.com/114072157778673512204/BurlingameCalifornia#5467503080164002098

Frances Walshe rsm is the director of a counselor training institute that is part of St. Francis Family Helper Program; the institute is accredited through Uganda Martyrs University. While based in the Mbarara district, the training institute travels to other regions to train counselors throughout Uganda and other eastern African countries and offers counseling and psychosocial services throughout the diocese of Mbarara.

The counselor training institute is one of several programs undertaken by St. Francis Family Helper Program, an organization whose mission is to raise the standard of living of poor rural families through the sharing and transfer of knowledge and skills in the hope of building a more equitable world together. It also hosts a tailoring school and promotes the education of Ugandan children through a child sponsorship program.

For more information on St. Francis Family Helper Program and the Counselor Training Institute under Frances’ leadership, see: http://www.stfrancisuganda.org/index.htm.

Counselling Graduates 2009 with Sr. Frances on the left and Sr. Linda on the right

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