The Sacred Heart schools in Uganda, although run on Catholic values, also practice Interfaith Harmony in all aspects. We share reflections from St. Charles Lwanga Kalungu Girls’ Training Centre and Sacred Heart Primary School Kyamusansala.
St. Charles Lwanga Kalungu Girls’ Training Centre
St. Charles Lwanga Kalungu Girls’ Training Centre is a school founded by Catholic missionaries and is run on Catholic values. Catholic which means “universal”. KGTC does not in any way discriminate on denomination basis but admits staff and students from all faiths. 95% of the school population are Christians, 4% are Muslims and 1% are non-believers.
God takes central stage in all actions with our Chapel being in the center of the school. We aim for environmental Christian education, promoting our respect and growth of each one’s faith. There is great sense of cooperation among different faith groups. We have morning prayers together every day, prepared by individuals from different denominations. Each class has a particular week assigned to it to animate the liturgy. It is the culture of our school to have spiritual retreats every term which everybody attends.
The young people undergo academic formation without ignoring or taking lightly the aspect of spiritual life in one’s formation. The interfaith formation is characterized by prayers, reflection, meditation, counselling, and retreats. Sometimes the community participates in different events like fashion shows where different religions exhibit their codes of dressing, and sharing meals so that we get to know each other.
The challenge comes when non-Catholics participate in all aspects of liturgy actively apart from Holy communion.
We are all invited to live our call of being artisans of hope in our interfaith school communities.
Compiled by Christine Nanyonga Form 3B
Kalungu Girls’ Training Centre
Sacred Heart Primary School - Kyamusansala
I am glad to share with you our experience of interfaith at Sacred Heart Primary School Kyamusansala-Uganda. My sharing is going to be guided by three different questions: The first one...
How we live with different faith:
We have an acknowledgement of the different religions found in our school community. We do that by allowing individuals to keep what they hold important given their religions. For example, religious names, special days and feasts of each religion are recognized. When individual people, for example the students, teachers, parents, and other casual workers come looking for a vacancy, we give them a chance without any segregation. In case of any behavior from a particular religion that is beyond our understanding, we enter into an open dialogue whereby each individual is given a chance to explain his or her point of view.
At our school, scholarships are availed to all the needy students regardless of their religion. Our students have a deep respect for people of other faith. This enables them to live happily with each other. Knowing that it is the same God we are serving though through different ways.
What I appreciate in the other religions I am living with:
Their ability to participate in all the school activities such as prayers, voluntary work, and church offertories inspires me. Secondly, I deeply appreciate the zeal to stand up for each other in all situations of life. Thirdly, the values promoted in our institution are also promoted by other religions. These values include generosity, obedience, love, faith, integrity and a critical mind.
My joys and hopes for the interfaith:
My joy is seeing the members of our school community being of great help to each other during moments of happiness like weddings, and moments of sorrow, like the death of a particular person regardless of their religion.
My hope is that our school and the entire world continues to acknowledge and respect the religious differences and have open communication where need be. I hope that the aspect of standing up for each other in times of needs continues to grow every day.
Infographic chart of how the main religions live together in our school:
Each religion is very important, and it nourishes the other in all aspects of life such as spiritual, social, intellectual and moral.
Second Deputy Principal
Sacred Heart Primary School