Four Holy Cross missionaries followed founder Blessed Basil Moreau’s call to cross borders of every sort by establishing a presence in East Africa in November 1958, led by Servant of God Vincent J. McCauley. They were entrusted with the northern portion of the Mbarara Diocese in Uganda, which later became the dioceses of Fort Portal, Hoima and Kasese.
Holy Cross Lake View Senior Secondary School, located in the Diocese of Jinga, is the cornerstone of the Congregation of Holy Cross’ educational mission in Uganda. Rev. Robert Hesse, C.S.C., founded the school in 1993 in an abandoned one-room school house. The need to educate the children of this impoverished area was great and so was the village’s response.
Today, true to Blessed Moreau’s missionary and educational vision, a staff of 80 Holy Cross religious and lay collaborators educate the hearts and minds of nearly 800 students in everything from Agriculture to Literature to Computer Science to Religion. Lake View is now ranked among Uganda’s top 50 schools and is nationally recognized for academic excellence.
In response to the school’s rapid growth over the past decade, several makeshift structures were quickly constructed in hopes of adding more space for the growing student population. Unfortunately, their construction on bedrock in a location plagued by flooding nearly forced the school to close on more than one occasion, by order of the local city council.
A parcel of land without these issues was purchased by our community on a beautiful hillside overlooking Lake Victoria, christened the Holy Cross Lake View Musima campus. It is less than one mile from the current campus. In order for Lake View to continue to offer a premier Catholic, Holy Cross education – serving the needs of the Jinja community – the school needed to grow by building new dormitories on the new Musima campus.
Building on-campus residence halls is not only vital to Lake View’s future, but the opportunities for the children. Students who live in residence halls at the school, where they have a safe, secure place to pursue their education do better academically. Families from other parts of Uganda, and even Kenya, send their sons and daughters to the school, which is renowned for its academic success. With so many coming great distances to attend Lake View, housing is really a part of assisting some of the most motivated young people in pursuit of their education — an education that will make a difference in the world and shape them into leaders amongst their families, society, country and the Church. The new residence halls will also generate income from those families who are able to pay, thus supporting the sustainability of the school for all the children. Likewise, quality apartments for teachers will attract the best lay faculty.
A campaign to build a new boy’s dormitory on Holy Cross Lake View Musima campus began in 2011. Thanks to funds from donors and foundations, and additional support from the United States Province itself, this new boy’s dormitory was recently completed and the boys have now moved into the new dormitory. Funds from donors, foundations and the United States Province have also been secured to build at least one girls’ dormitory, which will be the next construction project underway.
How you can help
In order to continue the expansion of the Musima campus, the next goal for the Holy Cross Lake View School is to establish a building fund of no less than $1.2 million dollars which would be utilized for the next phase of the campus. This next phase includes classrooms, a library, a dining hall and chapel.
You can support this worthwhile cause by making a recurring gift or one-time donation to the Holy Cross Mission Center, using our online forms. They will be earmarked for Lake View Senior Secondary School.
Globally, the Holy Cross Mission Center supports the international mission work and worldwide efforts of the Congregation of Holy Cross, spanning 16 countries on five continents. The Holy Cross Mission Center is sponsored by the U.S. Province and supports those locations for which the U.S. Province has direct jurisdiction: the Districts of East Africa (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania), Chile, Perú and the Region of México. It also supports those areas with which the U.S. Province has a special relationship, like the Sacred Heart of Jesus Province of Bangladesh. The Center helps coordinate special mission initiatives, like relief efforts in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and assists other Holy Cross districts, provinces and the general administration.