We Have a Roof! Phase III is Complete!

After all of our end-of-year fundraising efforts from 2017 have helped us to reach our goal. At long last the convent has a roof! The structure of the roof is built with wood and then overlaid with coated iron sheets. This will keep the rain out, as it rains a lot in Bumai.


This Convent Needs a Roof!

We are in phase three of the construction of the convent, but we don’t have the money to continue. This convent needs a roof and we need to raise the funds to build it! Please consider making a donation today.

The iron sheets cost about $14/each and we need 214 of them. That means if 214 people donate $14/each we will have what we need to move forward. Share this video to spread the word!

Visit our fundraiser page on Facebook or donate here.


Our Interview with Father Johaness from Bukoba

Father Johaness Rweyemamu is a close friend of Father Swit and they were actually in the seminary together. Well, now he’s the Financial Controller of Bukoba Catholic Diocese. That means he is the one that handles all things financial with the diocese, including making sure the donations you send to us go to pay for the construction of the convent.

Last September we met with Father Johaness in Phoenix, Arizona, his last stop on a three-month trip here in the States. He agreed to sit down with us for an interview. In our conversation we talked about the problem with evangelization in Bumai and the challenges that Father Swit faces in trying to maintain his flock. In the second half of the video we discuss the booming of priestly vocations in Bukoba which is the reason Father Johaness was in the US.

Scholarships for Seminarians

After our conversation with Father Johaness he put us in touch with his friend and fellow priest Father Thomas who is also from Bukoba, but who now serves as a priest in the Diocese of Phoenix. Father Thomas helped to organize the trip for Father Johaness including getting approval for him to visit parishes across the country including Chicago, Ohio, New Jersey, and Texas.

He was making mission appeals to help raise funds to pay scholarships for the seminarians in Bukoba. It costs $2,500 per seminarian each year. The Vatican provides $500 per seminarian, but they are responsible for the rest. We have since joined forces with Father Johaness and Father Thomas to help provide funds for scholarships for seminarians. If you feel called to contribute to this special fund, please visit our seminarian scholarship page.


New Partner Parish: Our Lady of Grace

This year we’ve decided to change our business model and focus our efforts more on partnering with organizations such as schools, parishes, and religions education programs. This allows us to engage with people directly, providing faith formation through our presentation and also by challenging the audience to contribute to our campaign.

Our newest partner parish is Our Lady of Grace in Encino, particularly the Religious Education Program. This weekend we were invited by our good friend Jesse Rodriguez, the DRE at OLG to make a presentation to the Confirmation candidates in their first year of formation. We discussed the three pillars of Lent and how the Church calls us to pray, fast, and give alms during this season. Our presentation challenged them to live out their faith in a practical way by praying, fasting, and giving alms for the benefit of our campaign Building Up Bukoba.

Want to Partner with Us?

Are you interested in bringing us to your parish or school? We are looking for more partners to complete our Lenten fundraising efforts. Talk with your principal, pastor, or director of religious education and have them invite us out to give a presentation to your group. Check out our speaking page for more information. We look forward to partnering with you!


We’re in Phase III

Phase III of the construction of the convent has officially begun with the harvesting of timbers for the structure of the roof. That doesn’t mean a trip to Home Depot, it means cutting down trees!

Our goal is to raise $4,600 to build the roof. The parishioners in Bumai have been challenged to give what precious little they can and they have been generous. Please consider making a contribution. Every bit counts!


Calvary Has Come to Bumai

As you may know, Father Swit is very much into gardening and not only does he design and maintain the parish grounds, but he’s even been asked to landscape for some of the schools in the area.

Recently, he felt called to design a meditation garden at his parish and he came up with the idea to have an artist create a statue of the Crucifixion of Christ at Calvary. Using concrete and wire mesh this talented artist came up with this beautiful creation!

Some of his fellow priests believe that only the Cross of Christ is necessary, but we told Father that it is important not to forget about the conversion of St. Dismas, the good thief. As he hung on the cross next Jesus he was promised a place in Paradise. What a powerful message for sinners, that God is always ready to lavish His love and mercy on our souls!

Keep up the good work Father Swit!


Phase II is Complete!

We are more than excited to announce that Phase II of the construction of the convent has been completed! The bricklaying seemed to pass so quickly and the walls are now up.

If you haven’t already, join Father Swit for a virtual tour of the convent, monkeys and all!

Thanks you so much for generosity! Make sure to sign up for our email list to stay up-to-date with the progress of the convent.


Earthquake Hits Tanzania Hard, Convent Unaffected

This past weekend a 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck in Tanzania. “At least 17 people were killed and 253 others injured in Tanzania, with most of the casualties occurring in the town of Bukoba, which suffered widespread damage [and] at least 840 houses were destroyed by the quake, with another 1,264 seriously damaged, rendering thousands of people homeless.” (Wikipedia)

Father Swit was scared and nervous about the convent. He explained that this was his first time experiencing an earthquake, but confirms that there was no damage to the convent. We thank God, but we pray for those lives lost, for their families, and for the people whose homes were lost or damaged. Please join us in prayer.

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Note: These photos are not of the convent or the parish church, but of other buildings in Bukoba town that were affected by the quake. A photo of the convent is included in its current state.

What This Means for the Convent

The rainy season is fast approaching, which prevents the production of bricks. And they are in high demand with buildings in need of repair. Donate today to ensure we’ll get the bricks we need to finish phase two of construction.


Virtual Tour of the Convent

We asked Father Swit to give us a tour of the convent construction site… and this happened!

We’re getting close to finishing Phase II of the construction, but we’re very low on bricks. These bricks are hand made and cost about $30 for 1,000. That’s $3 for 100 bricks! Any chance you could help us out?

Donate Today


Special Thanks to the Students at Mary Immaculate School

In February we were invited by our friend Mrs. Federina Gullano, Principal at Mary Immaculate Catholic School in Pacoima, California, to make a presentation to the school children encouraging them to participate in the annual Lenten Fundraiser.

I was super excited to go out and talk to the kids explaining the three challenges the Church makes to us during the Lenten season: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. It was fun and interactive and at the same time educational. Afterwards I showed them some pictures of Father Swit and his people in Bumai, then I encouraged them to live out their lenten call by praying, fasting, and giving alms for the campaign Building Up Bukoba.

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A couple months later I returned to the school to thank the kids for the support and participation in the campaign. I was then presented with a check by Mrs. Gullano on behalf of the school for $582 which the kids had donated themselves!

What a blessing to see them living out their faith and sharing the little they have to benefit kids on the other side of the world. Thanks again Mary Immaculate students. May God bless you for your generosity!


Pray with Us

We believe that with God all things are possible. Sign up for our monthly newsletter and join us in praying for the special intentions each month. Thank you for your prayers. Pray with Us

Make a Donation

Do you feel called to give? Your contribution of any amount will help us to come one step closer to reaching our goal. Every gift counts. We thank you for your generosity! Make a Donation

Help a Seminarian

As part of our mission to provide faith formation we are committed to helping seminarians in their final years by covering some of there expenses. Donate today! Help a Seminarian