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 contact Tammi Murray at 360-990-0900 (evenings) or 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


  • Student Sponsorships
      • Judith Amutuheire – Kabale University School of Medicine (Medical Doctor)
      • Desiderius Alinaitwe – Mayanja Memorial Medical Training Institute (Clinical Medicine)
      • Victor Nabasa – St. Mary’s College Rushoroza (Secondary School, Future Doctor)
      • Moses Ainembabazi – St. Mary’s College Rushoroza (Secondary School, Future Lab Technician)
  • Internet System – St. Mathias Nyakishenyi Vocational Secondary School
  • Solar Power for Computer Classroom – St. Mathias Nyakishenyi Vocational Secondary School
  • Children’s Books & Literature – 14 primary schools and 2 secondary schools
  • Reusable Feminine Hygiene Kits


  • Maternity & Imaging Services Ward Construction – Nyakishenyi Catholic Health Centre III
  • Voltage converters and electrical upgrade at Nyakishenyi Catholic Health Centre to accommodate x-ray and ultrasound machines
  • Mama Kits for OB Patients – Nyakishenyi Catholic Health Centre III
  • Solar Power for New Ward – Nyakishenyi Catholic Health Centre III
  • Reusable Feminine Hygiene Kits (Heavy Flow Kits for OB Patients) – Nyakishenyi Catholic Health Centre III (Next shipment scheduled for September 2019)
  • Ultrasound Machine – Nyakishenyi Catholic Health Centre (Shipment scheduled for September 2019)
  • Wheelchairs for disabled persons (Shipment of 12 wheelchairs scheduled for September 2019)


  • Rainwater Storage Systems –
    • Nyabishaki (Tank Team #1)/Kamuko) – Projected installation expected late 2019
    • Buremera/Kabaranga (Tank Team #2)
    • Mugurante/Butare
    • Kajumiro (Parish Rectory)
    • Kajumiro (Parish Centre – tanks)
  • Water Tank Repair and Rain Gutter Installation
    • Katonya Primary School
    • Mabindi Church
    • Nyarubale Church
  • Sponsorship – Education & Medical Care (HIV/AIDS) for 12 yr-old Blair Tumwesigwa
  • Data for internet system at Rectory (ongoing)
  • Repair of priests’ electronics damaged by lightning strike (Completed August 2019)
  • Installation of lightning arresters at Rectory and Parish Centre Church
  • Support of Women’s Development Groups through craft purchases

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)

If you have any questions, please contact Tammi Murray: or (360) 990-0900(evenings)

  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. Please contact Tammi for details.

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:

Join Our Sister Parish Ministry's Sewing Group:

Feminine Hygiene kits



All meetings will take place at 10:00AM at Laurie Gatzke’s house.
Call or text 360-649-1659 for directions and to RSVP.

Upcoming Sew n’ Sew Dates: 

  • TBD

The Sew n’ Sews’ next focus will be on making reusable feminine hygiene kits for students in our Sister Parish in Uganda. Our goal is to distribute reusable feminine hygiene kits to girls in the upper grades of some of the primary schools in our Sister Parish later this year.

Donations to purchase supplies and help with shipping costs are always needed!

This sewing group is open to everyone, Catholic & non-Catholic alike – invite a friend!
Sister Parish Ministry activities are ALWAYS family-friendly!


– A Night in Africa: Dessert & Silent Auction –
Saturday, October 12
6:30pm in Camerman Hall

 Dessert Auction · Silent Auction · Stuff the Bag Contest · Best Desserts in Kitsap! · East African Hors d’Oeuvres · Wine & Beer · Ugandan Coffee & Tea · African Market · Door Prizes · Photo Booth · Fun for the Entire Family!

  •  Live Entertainment – We will be welcoming special guest Julius Ssentume performing in a contemporary Ugandan style.
  • Children’s Safari – To complement our “night” in Uganda this year, our children’s corner will have a safari theme this year.  Our younger guests will enjoy safari-themed games and craft projects and a special safari-themed menu.
  •   Children’s Bake Sale – For the second year in a row we are inviting children of all ages to contribute desserts to our Children’s Bake Sale.  Our Children’s Bake Sale chairperson this year is 2nd grader Ainsley G.  If your child would like to help with the Children’s Bake Sale, contact Tammi.
  •  Children’s Sewing Projects – For the first time ever, we have some enthusiastic sewing enthusiasts interested in helping us make things from African fabric to sell at our  Dessert Auction.  Our Sewing Chairperson is Aislyn W.  If you would like to help with sewing projects, contact Tammi