February – May 2017: A Springfull of Gifts

This continues to be a spring filled with events and gifts to celebrate on many fronts, among others:

February 2017:
Being named as Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology. The fellowship will allow me to take a year off from teaching (Jan – Dec 2018) to focus on my research on “Who are My People?”, which will allow me to do research on various exemplars of social love in response to ethnic, religious and ecological forms of violence in Africa.

A number of significant lectures including:
February 9, 2017:
The 2017 Payne Lecture and keynote address for Black History Month at Seminary of the Southwest in Austin (Feb 9), and an opportunity to visit with my seminary friend Fr. Isidore Ndagizimana, now pastor of the vibrant parish of St. Thomas More Catholic Church: https://www.stmaustin.org/welcome/pastors-welcome

February 20-22, 2017:
The 2017 Henry Martyn Lectures in World Christianity at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, with the opening night attended by among others, the Uganda High Commission to the UK, Dr. Joyce Kikafunda; In the three evening lecture series, I outlined my next research project, “Who are My People”.


March 5-12, 2017:
A Keynote address on “Theology Research Matters” at the Christianity and Social Change in Contemporary Africa, a Templeton funded conference of Africa Scholars hosted by the Nagel Institute in the Study of Christianity Worldwide at Abidjan, Ivory Cost.

March 30, 2017:
St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame Indiana, speaking in the 2017 Distinguished Lecture series on “Called to Intervene: Violence, Spirituality and Solidarity.” Read/view the lecture EK (for recording contact Arlene Montevecchio: amontevecchio@saintmarys.edu :

April 8-11, 2017:
Hosting Maggy Barankitse, and introducing her to the Notre Dame community. Here are some pictures and links of her visit at Notre Dame.
The Courage of Giving Refuge Lecture


For more on the leadership of this extraordinary woman who “love has made [an inventor]” see:
1. Opus Prize (7 mins)
2. Maison Shalom
3. Testimony before Pope Francis

A Holy Thursday Gift, April 13, 2017:
lamentWaiting for me at the front doorsteps, a box of ten copies of Born From Lament: The Theology and Politics of Hope in Africa! What an appropriate Easter gift for in Born from Lament I make the argument that the character of Christian hope is the surprising experience of resurrection in the midst of death, new life in context of suffering, joy and celebration in the midst of hardship!

May 6, 2017:
A beautiful baptism ceremony at Sacred Heart Church La Plata Maryland, of Godfrey Jude Ddungu Jr, followed by a reception at the Ddungus.


Spring 2016 Highlights

Hello all, I am back from my blog hiatus. This is the first of a series of updates since last year.

June 8, 2016:

10th Anniversary of the Duke Center for Reconciliation, honoring the co-founders, Chris and Emmanuel.

June 10, 2016:

Speaking at the CTSA plenary in San Juan Puerto Rico, responding to Margaret Farley. Read my plenary address here.

June 17, 2016:

Plenary Keynote address at the American Society of Missiology Annual Meeting, St. Paul Mn. Read my address on “Field Hospital”.

Africa Matters Update

March 12, 2016.

It has been a while since we posted anything here. Not because there has been nothing to share. On the contrary, we have been experiencing an overabundance of gifts, happenings and events such that there has been little time to process the “too much”. Now, thanks to a dedicated and persistent research assistant, Fr Emmanuel is able to share some developments on the Bethany Land Institute http://emmanuelkatongole.com/pilgrim/kiumpa-bethany-greens/ . Three highlights over the last six months have brought much needed momentum to The Bethany Land Institute initiative as we prepare for take off:

Highlight One:

The gift of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si

Laudato Si

Laudato Si

which provides the much needed and fresh pastoral/theological vision on care for our human home. See Fr Emmanuel’s reflection on the urgency of the ecological challenge in Africa, which reflects on Laudato Si and also casts a vision for the BLI, see ROOTING GOD’S MISSION IN THE AFRICAN SOIL .

Highlight Two:

Seed funding from two organizations allowed us to clear any remaining huddles on the land and to have the 78 acres of the future campus of the BLI surveyed and fenced off.

Fr Katongole planting a tree

Fr Katongole planting a tree at BLI


Cornelius planting a tree at BLI

Cornelius planting a tree at BLI


Highlight Three:

BLI successfully incorporated in Uganda (August); held first board meeting (Jan)

First BLI Board Meeting

First BLI Board Meeting


and board site visit….

Board site visit

Board site visit

Some pictures of board meeting and of site visit.

I can honestly say, “I do not know what God is doing, but am glad to be part of it.”

Watch this space for more updates.

Springfull of Gifts-2

Five days in Rome (June 3-8) for a Contending Modernities meeting. As always Rome is full of delightful surprises. The highlight: Corpus Christi mass, presided over by Pope Francis at the Basilica of John Lateran, followed by a mile long procession with the blessed Sacrament to Maria Marjore. At the mass, Francis prayed for persecuted Christians around the world while reminding (during the homily) the congregation the unique gift of that the Eucharist is to the church: “not a reward for the holy, but food for the hungry, pardon for sinners and strength for the weary.

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Another highlight: time with my friend Fr. Simon Peter, who is in formation at the Pontifical Ecclesiatical Academy, preparing for ministry in ecclesiastical diplomacy:

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