Godfrey Musabe, 25, of Uganda is a Glenmary candidate interested in missionary priesthood. In early August 2011, he arrived in America after his first-ever plane flight. And now that he is with his Glenmary community, he says, "I really feel at home."
He and Ambrose Wanyonyi are actually part of Glenmary's 2010 formation class. But the two completed their first year of studies for Glenmary priesthood during the 2010-2011 academic year at the Tangaza College School of Theology in Nairobi.
As a child, Godfrey moved from Kenya to Uganda. "I always thank God for the gift of my mother," he says. "She taught me the Christian faith and always advised me to attend Mass and services." She also made sure he attended religious education and sacramental preparation classes. "In 1994, I witnessed the ordination of a priest at my parish, and from that time the desire to become a priest came in me. I started by becoming a server, and it was a good experience for me."
Godfrey went to a minor seminary in Uganda for his first four years of secondary education, then transferred to another Catholic school to complete the final two secondary years. He still wanted to be a priest, and so he decided to pursue university studies and then decide which society of priests to join. He attended the Queen of Apostles Philosophy Center—part of Uganda Martyrs University—and earned his bachelor's degree in social sciences with a philosophy minor. It was during his time at the university that he learned about and was attracted to Glenmary.
"When I worked as a volunteer in the Internally Displaced People's Camps in northern Uganda (before being accepted by Glenmary), I found out that the ministry of serving rural poor people is a good one for me," Godfrey says. "My experience as a volunteer made me understand that there are people in need of God's grace, hope and love.
"I decided to join Glenmary because of its mission to spread the Gospel of Christ in rural America where there are few Catholics. I would love to serve God and others as a Glenmary priest, a priest who can touch people's lives."
Reflecting on his year of theology studies at Tangaza, he adds, "It's a fine school. Classes went well and it was a very good experience. The education I received helped prepare me for my future ministry."
On Godfrey and Ambrose's first weekend in America, Father Vic Subb, one of Glenmary's formation directors, took the two new arrivals to visit three Glenmary locations in eastern Kentucky: Glenmary Farm and the Grayson and Vanceburg missions. Godfrey was impressed by the fact that the mission communities "are small but welcoming, and united as families."
After an initial two-week orientation to Glenmary and American culture in mid-August, Godfrey and Ambrose will join other Glenmary students this fall at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana.
Godfrey is already looking forward to pursuing his studies and later professing his Oath to become a Glenmarian. "I just want to prepare myself to work in the missions," he says.
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