First Profession of Vows in District of East Africa


The Congregation of Holy Cross, District of East Africa (which is a District of the United States Province of Priests and Brothers) recently celebrated the First Profession of Vows of five U.S. Province novices, along with three from the Moreau Province.

On Thursday, July 25, Rev. Thomas J. O’Hara, C.S.C., provincial superior of the U.S. Province, presided at Mass and received the vows of:

  • Mr. Berry Apire, C.S.C.;
  • Mr. Innocent Mwesigwa, C.S.C.;
  • Mr. Robert Sekatte, C.S.C.;
  • Mr. Richard Sserugo, C.S.C.;
  • Mr. Godfrey Ssenkubuge, C.S.C.; and
  • Peter Mayanja, C.S.C., professed his Temporary Vows

Br. William Zaydak, C.S.C., provincial superior of the Moreau Province, received the vows of:

  • Br. Adolf Mugume, C.S.C.;
  • Br. Bernard Omukuyia, C.S.C.; and
  • Br. Patrick Tumusiime, C.S.C.

The Mass took place at the Holy Cross Novitiate at Lake Saaka in Fort Portal, Uganda.

In his homily, Fr. O’Hara urged those making their vows to “put on the armor of Christ” so as to live faithfully the counter-cultural way of life to which they have been called. He gave thanks for all who have played the role of “Eli” (the priest who acted as a teacher to the prophet Samuel) to the novices, helping them to listen to the call within, accepting to go “one step further” in generous response to that call. “Because God loves you, you are empowered to love and serve your brothers and sisters in a profound way,” Fr. O’Hara told them. “Rejoice in that love, and in this special day.”

After Communion, Br. Zaydak called on the newly professed to walk in the footsteps of the great Holy Cross “band of men” which preceded them, especially pointing to Servant of God Vincent McCauley and St. Andre as examples of humble, prayerful and committed servants of the Church.

All the newly professed will now move to McCauley Formation House, Nairobi, Kenya, for their post-novitiate formation. The seminarians from the U.S. Province will be enrolled at Tangaza College in Nairobi for theology studies. Holy Cross is a founding member of Tangaza College. Br. Bernard Omukuyia will study at the Catholic University of East Africa, Nairobi, and Brs. Adolf Mugume and Patrick Tumusiime will study at Christ the Teacher Institute of Tangaza College.

Earlier in the week on July 20, ten new men were received into the Novitiate (nine from the U.S. Province and one from the Moreau Province).

The two brothers’ and priests’ Provinces of the Congregation of Holy Cross were unified into one District of East Africa in 1988. Working together administratively in the District has allowed the Congregation to grow and meet the varied and emerging challenges in the region, along with establishing a thriving East African vocations program.

The United States Province will again celebrate First Vows when six novices at the Holy Cross Novitiate in Cascade, Colo., profess their vows on Saturday, Aug. 3 at Sacred Heart Church, Colorado Springs, Colo., Fr. O’Hara will also preside at that Mass as well.

For more information on the formation process, please visit the U.S. Province’s Vocations’ website.

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