Franciscan Prison Ministry

Rehabilitating Lives in Bondage -
     Franciscan Prison Ministry


"Monitor" Uganda Press May 2004

Whatsoever you do... That you do unto me."  Mt.25:33-46

Sr. Antoinette Bangart F.M.S.A with members of the Prison Ministry Team, Stephen Murindu S.F.O. and Brother Bernard Onyango S.F.O.
If misfortune ever gave you a spirited visit landing you in jail, Luzira Maximum Security Prison in particular, you then appreciate the Missionary activities of the Franciscan Sisters for Africa. A team of four committed Christians has been giving spiritual and material assistance to the inmates of Luzira prisons for the last 12 years.

Sr. Olive, a Franciscan Sister, started the Luzira Prisons Ministry in the 1980's. Currently, Sr. Antoinette Bangart, with a team of three Ugandans from Kamwokya Catholic Parish, visits one or two sections of Luzira Prison each day. This group of persons is popularly known as the Franciscan Prison Ministry Team and has 4 members Srs. Alice Nsababera, Maria Kemigisha, Anttoinette Bangart and Br. Bernard Onyango.

Sr. Antoinette says there are more than 5,000 inmates between the different prisons in Luzira. The jails are overcrowded, the supply of bedding is inadequate, medical drugs are in short supply and special and supplementary diets for the sick do not exist. Furthermore, the inmates lack clothing, soap and other cleaning materials.

For the last few years, the Franciscan Prison Ministry Team has been conducting adult literacy classes as well as primary and secondary classes in most of the prison sections. The Ministry is not without challenges. The Ministers are often faced with the inmates' overwhelming needs. "They have genuine humanitarian needs, but we cannot meet some of them as our means are limited", observed Sister Antoinette.

The Prison Ministry uses a 1987 Daihatsu donated by S.C.I.A.F. and is also supported by G.O.A.L. (Ireland) and local benefactors. In addition, thanks is due to the Ruparelia Group of companies who have relentlessly given support in the area of transport.