Fr. Samuel, Marin Catholic, and the Knights of Columbus:
I am Father Samuel Musimenta, a Roman Catholic priest of Fort Portal, Uganda. Now serving at Saint Isabella parish near San Francisco, California in the USA. I was born on October 10, 1976 in Uganda at the Rwamwanja refugee re-settlement camp. My father, Charles Kazabakora, is a Tutsi refugee from Rwanda in 1940s before the 1959 and 1994 genocides. My mother Gaudensia is a native Ugandan. I am the 4th of 6 children, sadly 2 have already passed. Number one died of HIV/ AIDS, number six died in a car accident when in the University.
Growing up in a refugee camp:
I was born during a bad period of the dictator, Idi Amin. I hated being in the camp and my older sister was kidnapped and abused by rebels in 1982. I now fear any army man or woman I also fear dogs, snakes, and drowning due to my impoverished upbringing.
My vocation to priesthood:
I happen to come from a very Catholic extended family, which has seven Catholic priests and three nephews are in the seminary formation! When a little boy, I saw one of my relatives who is a priest riding a motor bike and asked my mom who he was, from there, I grew up knowing that priesthood meant riding a motor bike of which I rode after becoming a priest but because of my health, was stopped by doctors not to ride it again. I found out that riding a motor bike was not the priesthood but serving God’s people by sharing His love and bringing God’s people closer to Him in my ministry has been so exciting, the sacraments in the Catholic Church have been so helpful in my faith especially the Holy Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick. The faith of my parents helped me a lot to walk with God’s people on my journey of faith. Prayer life is very important in the life of a priest. Pastoral challenges both here and Uganda have helped me love the Holy Eucharist, counseling, and adoration.
My favorite saint:
I love Saint Jude Thaddeus. My dad told me, that I was born when very sick, and they thought that I could not survive. Then when I was about 3 months, that the sickness intensified and my dad went to our pastor in Uganda to ask him if he could help him with about 3 dollars to buy a casket when I die. The pastor agreed and during that time, the statue of Saint Jude had been brought to our parish and my dad was advised by the pastor to go and pray to Saint Jude the patron of Hopeless cases and to me, Saint Jude healed me. We had no medicine during that time, who ever was falling sick from measles was given cow urine and herbs. Thanks to that and prayers of my poor parents to St. Jude that now I can give a testimony.
Roofing the Parochial school and other essentials:
In December 2016, I met Joe Tassone of Marin Catholic High School and the Knights of Columbus and he asked how his school and the Knights could help our people in Uganda. I immediately asked him to mobilize people to help our parochial school in Kabuga, Kamwenge, Western Uganda. It is through education that our people will be liberated and thanks to God that we have got the money. The Knights of Columbus members of Marin county have raised $4,460 at a fabulous dinner and the students of Marin Catholic High School have raised $1,000. I thank the St Vincent de Paul Club girls who served, Marin Catholic High School, the Knights of Columbus of Marin County. The June 17th is one of my memorable days I will never forget in Life! Thank you for the nice food, drinks, music and decorations by the Marin Network for Life! God bless the work of your hands. Apart from the roof, the money will also help to buy doors, windows, and chalk boards for all seven grades.
Education, prayer, friends, touring, farming (I am a member of Uganda forestry authority). reading books, listening to current news. I love ecology and love planting trees and especially fruit trees like mangoes, oranges, bananas, avocados, and passion fruit. I love milking cows using hands and love milk, rearing hens, goats, and rabbits. I have recently fallen in love with ice cream. Traveling to Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, Kenya, Tanzania and USA is a treat. I also enjoy jogging, playing cards, volleyball, and a bit of basketball. I like to listen to the Ugandan Runyakitara music and country music, “His world not my home by Jim Reeves” is a favorite.
Because of falling in love with Ice cream, the St Isabella’s kids and parents here in San Rafael call me Father Ice Cream. I love the name.
God Bless you all.
Fr. Samuel Musimenta
St Isabella’s Parish
San Rafael, CA