ambrosoliGiuseppe Ambrosoli (or simply Fr. Joseph) was a doctor and people in Uganda called him ‘the saint doctor’. He was born in Ronago to a well-known family from Como on 25 July 1923.

He graduated in Medicine and Surgery at the end of WW2.Later on, he completed a post-graduate specialization course at London’s Tropical Disease School, while at the same time starting a journey of faith that led to his ordination in Milan on 17 December 1955. In February 1956, Father Giuseppe was sent to Kalongo, in Northern Uganda, to work in a small local dispensary.

Thanks to his dedication and his surgical and entrepreneurial skills, the small dispensary soon turned into a modern health care facility with over 300 beds, providing professional medical assistance for the local population and in particular for the weakest and most vulnerable groups, such as women and children.

During those years, Father Ambrosoli worked alternately as a doctor to help the sick, lepers in particular, and as a manual laborer and ‘entrepreneur’.

One by one, the various Hospital wings were built and medical activity developed, also thanks to the numerous European doctors who moved to Kalongo to work as volunteer with Father Ambrosoli. In 1987, the civil war that raged through the northern districts of Uganda led to the forced evacuation of the Hospital by the military, who gave Father Ambrosoli 24 hours to clear the hospital and take away the sick.

After succeeding in finding a solution that would guarantee a future for the Midwifery School, in which he had believed so strongly, Father Giuseppe – worn out and suffering – died in Lira on 27 March 1987.

True to Comboni’s ideal, Father Giuseppe Ambrosoli lived for saving Africa through the Africans. The 32 years of missionary life spent by Father Ambrosoli in Uganda are the best demonstration that African people can be entrusted with full responsibilities.

In 1989, the Hospital was reopened by Father Egidio Tocalli and named after its founder: the Dr. Ambrosoli Memorial Hospital was officially born.

Last 2015 has been ended with the fantastic news about Fr. Joseph Ambrosoli: he has been declared “venerable” by the Holy Catholic Church of Rome.

FR. JOSEPH’S SUCCESSOR: FR. EGIDIO TOCALLI

THE COMBONI MISSIONARIES