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Marin Knights help St. Isabella priest build school in Uganda

05 PAGE 7.13.17_Uganda 1A June 17 fundraiser in Marin County organized by the Marin Knights of Columbus #1292 raised funds to help build a Catholic primary school in the village of Kabuga, Kamwege in Western Uganda. From left: St. Isabella Parish parochial vicar Father Samuel Musiimenta; St. Isabella parishioner Sherry Jervis; Marin Catholic teacher Joe Tassone; St. Isabella parishioner Marcia Jervis. (Courtesy photo)

July 13, 2017
Christina Gray

A new Catholic school will break ground on July 23 in East Africa thanks to funds raised by the Marin Knights of Columbus #1292 and the Marin Catholic High School community.

The construction of St. Mary’s Primary School (grades one through seven) in Kabuga, Kamwenge, Western Uganda, is the dream of Uganda-born Father Samuel Musiimenta, now serving as parochial vicar at St. Isabella Parish in San Rafael.

Father Musiimenta was born at a refugee re-settlement camp in Uganda in 1976 during the reign of Uganda President Idi Amin whose rule was characterized by human rights abuses, political repression, ethnic persecution and killings. Poverty remains deep-rooted in rural Uganda, which is home of 84 percent of Ugandans.

In December 2016, Father Musiimenta met Marin Knight Joe Tassone, a social studies and theology teacher at Marin Catholic High School in Greenbrae, who asked how the school and the Knights could support the people of Uganda.

“I immediately asked him to help mobilize people to help our parochial school in Kabuga, Kamwenge, Western Uganda,” said Father Musiimenta about the project village priest Father Tukwasibweto, is leading. “It is through education that our people will be liberated and thanks to God that we got the money.”

A fundraiser dinner hosted by the Marin Knights on June 17 brought in $4,460 for the project, and Marin Catholic students raised another $1,000. Father Musiimenta, the Marin Knights and Marin Catholic High School are racing toward a goal of raising another $1,000 to plaster the walls.

“God bless the work of your hands,” said Father Musiimenta in gratitude for the contributors, who included the Marin Network for Life.

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