Friendship Begins on the Journey…

Our Lady Star of the Sea formed a sister parish relationship with Mary, Queen of Martyrs, Nyakishenyi Parish, located in the Kabale Diocese in southwestern Uganda, in January 2010.  Star of the Sea parishioners are encouraged to pray especially for and help with the needs of our sister parish. To learn more or to be a part of the Sister Parish Ministry, please e-mail:

About Mary, Queen of Martyrs

Our Lady Mary Mother of the Church Nyakishenyi parish started in 1963 separated from Kitanga parish which was a mother parish. Its population is 49,878 and out 35,000 are Catholics. It is found on the hills 60km North of the Diocese of Kabale cathedral, in South Western Uganda. The parish headquarters is found on Kajumiro hills Kajumiro Catholic centre. On the Feast of Divine Mercy (April 23, 2017),  Mary, Mother of the Church was changed to Mary, Queen of Martyrs at the consecration of the new church building. The parish is endowed with fertile soils and the majority of Catholics depend on agriculture. The majority of Catholics are peasants and most food grown in the parish is for home consumption and very little for sale. Coffee is grown as our major cash crop. Most people are of poor background.

Mary Queen of Martyrs Nyakishenyi Parish has 11 catholic centers and 24 Village churches (“Hikas”) totaling 35.
All the Centres are led by the Eucharistic Ministers and village churches by the catechists. All Catechists reside at the churches. Priests stay at the Parish. Mary, Mother of Martyrs Parish, has one pastor, Fr. Ambrose Kibuuka, and an assistant priest, Fr. Augustine Kahiigi. (Fr. Reuben Mubangizi has been appointed a position at Kabale Diocese)

Mary, Queen of Martyrs is built at Kajumiro catholic centre, because Kajumiro is in the middle, other centres are around it. When missionaries came to Kabale, formally known as Kigezi, they started church school which later became government aided school after independence of Uganda 1962. There are now 21 government aided school in the area, out which 13 are Roman Catholic Church founded.

There are two secondary schools and one is a Roman Catholic Church founded. Despite the presence of schools in the area, there are many catholics who can not read and write.

The church cares for health wellbeing of her people by teaching them to be clean and live in a clean environment. People are encouraged to take children for immunization and other primary health care services and takes part in the HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention campaigns. The parish has one health centre at the parish. The health centre serves both in and out patients and it has a maternity ward. It serves people of all religious denominations.

Mission Statement:

The Sister Parish Ministry at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church strives to deepen our faith and experience the universal catholic church through developing a Sister Parish relationship with our sisters and brothers at Mary, Queen of Martyrs, Nyakishenyi Parish, in Uganda.  Guided by Gospel values and Catholic Social Teaching, we desire to foster solidarity and cultivate creativity for a mutually beneficial relationship of sharing, understanding, and respecting each other’s values, cultures, and resources.

The Sister Parish Motto:

The motto of the Sister Parish Ministry is “Friendship Begins on the Journey” which translates as “Omukago gutandikira aha Muhanda” in Rukiga, the language spoken by the people in our Sister Parish, who are referred to as Bakiga. 

Current/Future Projects


  • Children’s Books & Literature – 14 primary schools and 2 secondary schools (Shipment scheduled for March 13, 2020)
  • Reusable Feminine Hygiene Kits (Shipment scheduled for March 13, 2020)


  • Reusable Feminine Hygiene Kits (Heavy Flow Kits for OB Patients) – Nyakishenyi Catholic Health Centre III (Shipment scheduled for March 13, 2020)
  • Ultrasound Machine – Nyakishenyi Catholic Health Centre (Shipment scheduled for March 13, 2020)
  • Wheelchairs for disabled persons (Shipment scheduled for March 13, 2020)


  • Rainwater Storage Systems –
    • Nyabishaki (Tank Team #1)/Kamuko) – Projected installation completed December 2019
  • Installation of lightning arresters at Rectory and Parish Centre Church Project Pending – Funds sent to Fr. Ambrose for project in February 2020

Parish Awareness

The Christians are fully aware of the power of prayer. They believe that it is way of taking a moment to unite and talk to the creator. They are divided into prayer groups for adults and youths. We call the groups lay postulate movement.

The following are the youth movements in place:

  • Church choirs- in all churches in the parish
  • Legionaries
  • Eucharistic crusaders

Besides prayer, the youth have development projects at the church such as tree planting for income and environment protection, tea growing and they are organizing to start a micro finance project.

The adults on the other hand have the following prayer group movements:

  • Legionaries
  • Group to play for the soul in purgatory
  • Catholic charismatic renewal
  • St. Jude Tadeo group
  • A group for catechists
  • Basic Christian Communities

Along with praying together, some of these groups have started credit organizations and saving in order to fight poverty which is the biggest problem in the area. This has been done through the following ways:

  • Save for Burial
  • “Ebibina Byengozi” (Groups that are intended to carry sick persons in the community to the nearest health unit)


  1. The health centre at the parish headquarters is not big enough to meet the growing population in the area.
  2. Improvement of our schools. Most of the schools were built by missionaries and are not enough for our many kids. In relation to this, we have a number of orphans due to the scourge of AIDS. Our Parish has had its fair share of this problem like most parts of Uganda.
  3. Inadequate protected water sources. The water we have at the parish premises is tapped from the house roofs which are not clean at all. We have gravity water but the communities around the parish have less income to improve on the existing old water pipes and water stands and it is not enough for bigger communities. However, there is no clean water in the villages far from the parish.

Side view of the church with part of the faithful that attended the opening ceremony of the new church building – 2017

Ways to Make a Difference

Include Our Sister Parish in your regular prayers. You can also send a Spiritual Bouquet/Mass Enrollment, or offer a Mass Intention.

There are several projects and fundraisers we have throughout the year to help support our Sister Parish with their various needs. Our current needs (as of 9-5-19) are:

  1. Health and Hygiene
    • Surplus medical supplies, especially from clinics and hospitals
    • Wheelchairs (good condition or minor repairs only, please) and crutches
    • Unexpired Tylenol, Ibuprofen, anti-diarrheal medication, & triple anti-biotic cream
    • Prescription and reading glasses
    • Unused travel-sized soap; Dark Colored Girls panties size 12 girls through women’s sizes; Gallon-size Ziplock Freezer Bags (press-to-close); Dark Colored Wash Cloths
  2. Development Projects for Women’s Groups
    • Old calendars
    • Sewing supplies – buttons, pins, needles, simple patterns, sewing scissors, elastic
    • Jewelry-making supplies (for adults, not children)
    • Crochet supplies – yarn, crochet hooks, instruction booklets (lots of pictures)
    • Canning supplies & canning books and recipes (especially for vegetables and tropical fruits)
    • Candle-making & soap-making supplies
  3. School & Educational Supplies
    • NEW pens and pencils, colored pencils, markers, crayons
    • NEW erasers, small pencil sharpeners, and student scissors
    • Children’s books, American and English literature and African literature in English
    • Classroom supplies (charts, math kits, science kits, etc.)
    • Educational play kits/manipulatives (for nursery school)
    • New or gently used Twin bed sheets & pillow cases
  4. Children’s Items
    • Soccer balls (deflated) and hand pumps
    • Frisbees, Jump ropes, Chinese jump ropes, Bubbles
    • Parachutes
    • Stickers and temporary tattoos (be sensitive about designs) & “Friendship” bracelets
  5. Technology/Electronics
    • New or Used Laptops, Desktop Computers (newer, slim-line) and Tablets (working or not), networking components
    • New or Used Projector with HDMI cord and clicker device and Portable screens
    • New or Used digital cameras, small video equipment (i.e., Flip or GoPro), photography equipment (professional cameras, video equipment, lights, backdrops, etc.)
    • New or Used Smart Phones
  6. Religious Items
    1. Rosaries and holy cards, especially our Blessed Mother and the Saints (no patriotic or U.S.-specific materials, please)
    2. Vestments and liturgical items
    3. Religious books, especially Papal encyclicals and apostolic exhortations, commentaries on Mass readings, theology, moral issues, and lives of the saints. (No dated materials, please)

  Donate to Our Sister Parish

Visit Mary, Queen of Martyrs, Nyakishenyi Parish! Our 5th Visiting delegation to our Sister Parish is scheduled for late 2019. We are in the beginning stages of planning our next visit. The deadline to sign-up to join our visiting delegation is March 31, 2019.

Write a letter or send greeting cards to parishioners at our Sister Parish or request a pen pal:


Postal Address:
Mary, Queen of Martyrs, Nyakishenyi Parish
℅ Bishop’s House
P.O. Box 200
E-Mail Addresses:

Fr. Ambrose Kibuuka, Pastor of Mary, Queen of Martyrs, Nyakishenyi Parish – or


Fr. Reuben Mubangizi, Resource Mobiliser and Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator, Kabale Diocese-

Fr. Justus Lucas Kiiza, Pastor of Mary, Mother of the Church, Nyamwegabira Parish –

Ministry Updates


Keep up to date with Sister Parish News and see what else the Sister Parish Ministry is up to by visiting our FaceBook Page.