Parents have been admonished to remain focused in order to make their children successful. This appeal was made by Rev. Fr. Austen Christmas, the Parish Priest of Our Lady of Good Shepherd Rushoroza Cathedral Parish while presiding over Mass for the celebration of school day at St. Peter’s Vocational Secondary School Kabanyonyi in Maziba Parish on Thursday June 29, 2023, on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. In his homily, Fr Austen said that some parents have lost focus and no longer have concern over their children to the extent that some force their children out of school and force them into marriage and this ends up ruining their future. Fr. Austen also appealed to students of St. Peter’s Vocational S.S Kabanyonyi to know why they are in school, be well behaved, have respect for parents and teachers who share knowledge with them in order to have a successful future.

Some parents struggle to get school fees and other scholastic materials for you in order to be successful and you are just there wasting time in school and parents’ resources. Can you please be focused? – Fr. Austen Christmas.

The Headteacher of St. Peter’s Vocational S.S Kabanyonyi, Rev. Fr. Mbabazi Ignatius thanked all the parents who gave them students. He narrated that when he was taking over the school in Janurary 2022, the school had only 2 students, by currently the enrollment is 110 and this he attributed to the hard working teachers and cooperative parents. he outlines a number of items still missing in the school like more classrooms, piped water, electricity, equipping the science laboratory and library, boarding section among others. He thanked the guest of honor Mr. John Mary Vianney Mitana of JM Education and Research Centre for donating 100 iron sheets which were used to roof a building that had spent many years unfinished. Fr. Mbabazi also thanked the parishioners of Maziba Catholic Parish who worked hard to see that their school survives.

Students of St. Peter’s Vocational S.S Kabanyonyi singing during Mass to Celebrate St. Peter’s Day

Mr. John Mary Vianney Mitana, speaking as chief guest re-echoed the words of encouraging parents not to fear pain while making the future of their children. He gave an example of how he used to travel on foot from Karweru in Maziba Parish to St. Paul’s Seminary Rushoroza for studies. He urged parents to give a firm spiritual foundation to their children with firm education so that their future can be bright and successful. He contributed 100 bags of cement, 20 sewing machines for the vocational section and over 5 million shillings was collected in both cash and pledges. He thanked students for being disciplined, and smart and promised to have a two day seminar with them giving them empowerment and career guidance.

Who are Saint Peter and St. Paul?

Saints Peter and Paul are often referred to as two of the great “Pillars of the Church” and their feast day is annually celebrated on June 29. They each played an incredibly essential role in the establishment of the early Church. And though each of their roles was essential and foundational, their roles were as different as they were different as persons. Peter’s role was truly a unique one. His name was changed from “Simon” to “Peter” by Jesus. Recall Jesus saying, “And I tell you, you are Peter (Petros), and on this rock (petra) I will build my church…(Matthew 16:18). “Peter” in Greek is Petros, meaning a single stone that is movable. However, the Greek word petra means a rock as a solid formation that is fixed, immovable, and enduring. Therefore, Jesus chose to make Peter, this single stone, into a solid foundation of immovable rock on which the Church was to be built.

Peter was a family man, a local fisherman, uneducated and quite ordinary. From what we know about him prior to being called by Jesus, there was nothing that made him uniquely qualified to become one of the pillars of the new Church to be established by the Son of God. Jesus simply called him, and he responded. Jesus got into Peter’s boat, ordered him to lower the nets, and produced a huge catch of fish. When Peter saw this miracle, he fell down at Jesus’ feet and acknowledged that he was “a sinful man” who was unworthy of being in Jesus’ presence (See Luke 5:8). But Jesus informed Peter that he would from now on be catching men. Peter immediately left everything behind and followed Jesus. St. Peter is regarded as the first Pope to lead the Church after Christ from 33AD to 67AD. He is the one who acknowledged Jesus as Christ the Lord at Caesarea Philippi.

Paul describes himself as “a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cili′cia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gama′li-el, educated according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as you all are this day” (Acts 22:3). Paul was well educated in the strictest interpretation of the Jewish law, understood philosophy and was quite zealous as a young man. Recall, also, that prior to becoming a convert to Christianity, he “persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it” (Galatians 1:13). In many ways, Paul would have been seen as the most unlikely person to be chosen to be a pillar of the Church, because he so vigorously opposed it at first. He even supported the killing of Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

Though each of these men would have been considered by many as very unlikely founders of the Christian Church, this is exactly what they became. Paul, after his conversion, traveled far and wide to preach the Gospel, founding several new Churches throughout Asia Minor and Europe. Eventually he was arrested in Jerusalem, brought to Rome for trial and was beheaded. Over half of the New Testament books are attributed to Paul and half of the Acts of the Apostles detail Paul’s missionary journeys. Paul is especially known for his missionary activity to the Gentiles, those who were not Jews, rightly called an Apostle to the Gentiles.

Saints Peter and Paul, Pray for us!

Leave a Reply