The date has been set for the beatification of Comboni Missionary Father Giuseppe Ambrosoli – November 22, 2020 in Kalongo, Uganda.
For more than 40 years Father Ambrosoli dedicated his life to helping the people of Kalongo – expanding a dispensary into a full-fledged hospital and opening a midwifery school. In 2015, Pope Francis recognized the heroic virtue of Father Ambrosoli. Then in 2019, a miracle that occurred in 2008 was attributed to his intercession.
The beatification will take place on the Feast of Christ the King. Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, the head of the Congregation for the Cause of Saints, will preside over the ceremony. Kalongo is of particular importance because Father Giuseppe dedicated his life to the people living there and often expressed his desire to be buried among the Acholi.
This event is a source of great joy and an awareness of new responsibilities for all Comboni Missionaries. Kalongo, in Northern Uganda, is at the far reaches of what was St. Daniel Comboni’s Vicariate of Central Africa – and the place where Father Ambrosoli gave the best of himself in the parish, hospital, and the nursing and midwifery schools.
The dream and charism of St. Daniel Comboni has been proven through the witness Father Giuseppe, the first member of the Institute to be beatified. This event bears witness to the hidden foundations of the growth of the African Church, a further confirmation of St. Daniel’s Plan to “regenerate Africa with Africa.”
We thank God for all this and vow to continue our missionary witness for the good of the Church and society.
More about Father Ambrosoli
Father Ambrosoli was assigned to Kalongo, Uganda in 1956 where he served as a parish priest and took charge of running the local dispensary. The dispensary was started in a grass hut by Comboni Missionary Sister Eletta Mantiero in 1934. Soon after, she started delivering babies and attending to medical and pediatric patients.
In 1957 Father Ambrosoli began transforming the dispensary into a full-fledged hospital. At that time the dispensary was treating many leprosy patients. Father Ambrosoli revolutionized the care for leprosy patients by admitting them to the same hospital as other patients instead of confining them to the often neglected and poorly managed leprosarium.
Today the Kalongo Hospital, renamed the Dr. Ambrosoli Memorial Hospital, is a 350-bed facility that treats nearly 60,000 patients every year.
Another of Father Ambrosoli’s achievements was establishing the St. Mary’s School of Midwifery in 1959.