IN THE NEWS
– As originally featured in “The Catholic Spirit“
The words “Adunu Maleng Pa Yesu” mean “Sacred Heart of Jesus” in the native language of the Acholi, one of the many tribes in Uganda, who live in the northern part of the country bordering southern Sudan.
The Adunu Maleng Pa Yesu Society, Inc. is a Minnesota non-profit that helps to raise funds for Sacred Heart Seminary and Archbishop Flynn Secondary School in the Diocese of Gulu, Uganda.
Monsignor Matthew Odong, rector of the seminary, visited Minnesota in 1990 making an appeal for funds for the seminary, said John Desautels, President of Adunu Maleng Pa Yesu Society, Inc. He formed a relationship with donors here and the society grew out of that.
On one visit he met and became friends with Archbishop Harry Flynn. “He became my spiritual mentor and inspired me to love my priesthood,” he said in a letter to donors.
“It had long been Monsignor Matthew’s dream to build a secondary school in northern Uganda,” Desautels said. “In 2003 it became apparent this dream could become a reality. He decided he would like to build this school as something memorable to his American friends in Minnesota and particularly to Archbishop Harry Flynn, who has been very supportive of his work for many years.”
Archbishop Flynn Secondary School opened February 16, 2009 with a pioneer class of 34 students in one grade level. The current enrollment is 352 students in four grade levels. The planned capacity is 720 students in six grade levels, according to Desautels.
The Adunu Maleng Pa Yesu Society receives funds from The Society for the Propagation of the Faith to support the formation of pastoral agents, seminarians, religious, catechists, support diocesan pastoral programs, fund the maintenance and ongoing operating subsidies of Sacred Heart Seminary and fund the construction and ongoing operating subsidies of Archbishop Flynn Secondary School.
Funds have also been used to purchase motorcycles as transportation for newly ordained priests.
“For more than 20 years the education of young people in Northern Uganda was badly affected by the war,” Desautels said. “Most children had no access to a quality education, and education is the best tool for fighting ignorance and poverty.”
The society hopes to add levels 5 and 6 to the Archbishop Flynn Secondary School building and expand the girls dormitory. It asks for prayers and financial donations, and invites people to come visit the school and the seminary.