On Thursday April 4th the presentation of the book “Call me Giuseppe” was held at the Italian Ambassador’s residence in Kampala. Today the English translation of the book is available thanks to a contribution assigned by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
“Father Giuseppe Ambrosoli is perhaps the most significant example of the friendship between Italy and Uganda. A man who dedicated himself with enormous generosity to the Acholi people, “his people”, to the point of giving his life. Even today, more than thirty years after his death, his memory is well alive in Uganda, both in the local communities and among the Italian community.
The book “Call me Giuseppe” is a beautiful story of humanity, a journey through the life of this extraordinary man and a reflection on the legacy he left us”. These are the words with which H.E. the Italian Ambassador in Uganda Domenico Fornara opened the event.
In the wonderful setting of His residence, the Italian Ambassador H.E. Fornara, the President of the Ambrosoli Foundation Giovanna Ambrosoli, the Director of Kalongo Hospital Dr. Godfrey Smart Okot and the Director of the midwifery school Sr. Carmel, intervened many illustrious guests to remember Father Giuseppe and particularly what he did in this land. Among them, the Minister for Refugees Hon. Hilary Onek and Monsignor Matthew Odong General Vicar of the Archdiocese of Gulu.
During the presentation the guests shared many personal life and spiritual experiences, heritage of Father Giuseppe’s teaching and memory. Those who had the privilege of meeting Father Giuseppe in Uganda recalled his figure to a large public, among which the German Ambassador, the Spanish honorary Consul, , the former Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sen. Alfredo Mantica and the Italian soccer players Simone Perrotta and Damiano Tommasi, along with many other friends of Kalongo.
Special thanks to the Ambassador, who has always supported Dr Ambrosoli Hospital in Kalongo and believed in the daily commitment of the Foundation. Through this initiative he wanted to pay tribute to Father Giuseppe in Uganda, in the country he loved so much and to which he has dedicated his life.
Here are some of the testimonies of the guests who took part in event:
“Father Ambrosoli is a gift of God for the Acholi people: he has touched so many lives, not only in Kalongo, but throughout northern Uganda, he has left a mark and if there is anyone to be canonized it should be him. I remember that in 1967 during a vacation I caught pneumonia, with a strong pain that tore my chest, so I was advised to go to Father Ambrosoli. When I arrived he touched my head, started to pray for me, he gave me some medicine and said, “You’ll be fine.” I immediately felt a very cold sensation going through my body, the pain disappeared and never came back. I am honoured to be here today to celebrate a tribute to Father Giuseppe”.
Hon. Hilary Onek, Minister for Refugees in Uganda
“The midwifery school is truly the great legacy that Father Giuseppe left us. I call him “the miracle maker” because in the difficult and terrible moment of the war many students from other schools fell into ambushes, ours were all saved and this was a real miracle for us. Father Giuseppe was an excellent tutor because every time he could teach the students and dedicate himself to them, they passed the exams and fulfilled their future of hope. But he was also a great visionary, he always said “if I do not start and I do not pursue the midwifery school, my work cannot continue. It is precisely these young women who will continue my project for this country.” Today, St Mary’s school has contributed to the growth of 3 midwifery schools in Matany, Kitgum and Lacor: here all the tutors come from our school in Kalongo. This is the dream of Father Giuseppe that has come true ”
Sr Carmel Abwot, Director of St Mary’s Midwifery School in Kalongo
“The name of Father Giuseppe is perhaps better known in the Acholi region than in Italy. At that time many people here did not trust doctors but he managed to gain their trust. Some patients who had been visited by other doctors hid the prescriptions of the previous doctors to queue again and have the attention of Father Giuseppe. I too was a “victim” of this system: when my illness did not improve, I thought “well I will have to do so too, to be received by him!”. If today I am a priest it is thanks to the prayer of Father Ambrosoli. He was a gift for the Acholi people and for all Uganda”
Monsignor Matthew Odong General Vicar of the Archdiocese of Gulu
To book a copy of the book, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org