Father Dennis Kasule first came to the United States in 2004 to study at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois. He was ordained a Deacon on October 27, 2007 and continued his studies at Mundelein for an additional year. In 2008, Father Dennis went to Uganda and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Kampala on August 9, 2008. Shortly after ordination, he returned to the United States to continue his studies at the St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein.
From October, 2009 to present Father Dennis has been busy studying and teaching. He is currently teaching at St. Mary of the Lake.
As the Founder and President of The Stepping Stones Foundation of Hope (SSFOH), he is inspired and motivated to assist the people of his home village, Bunnamweri. Father Dennis is moved to help his people with education facilitation, water and basic health care provisions, and promotion of the Christian faith.
He says, “The ‘madness’ of initiating SSFOH came upon me late on September 3, 2004, aboard flight SN 0481. As I left everything I knew to study for the priesthood in Chicago, I pondered how I had leaped up into those starry African skies. I wondered, ‘why me?’ Then, I thought, ‘Why not me?’ I feel privileged to share my aspirations for bringing wondrous hope to the children and people of my home.
“I look back over my life, and I see that the ‘stepping-stone’ that enabled me to leap into the skies was my mother. She had the chance few women in my village ever have—formal education and unwavering faith in God—both of which she steadfastly passed on to my siblings and me. Because of our mother, all of us have had the blessings of good education, health, and faith. Our lives would not be the same without her empowerment.
“This is why I believe that when all future mothers of Bunnamweri are empowered with education, health, and grounded in the values and faith of Christianity, the future of their children will be privileged to have similar stepping-stones as I had.”
In 2009, SSFOH was officially established. SSFOH is striving to empower less fortunate people and to overcome infrastructural suffering. SSFOH has made commendable progress is just two years thanks to the hard-work and dedication of the board of directors and our liaison in Uganda.
In Father Dennis’ words, “The deep roots of SSFOH’s work are our faith. Before anything else, this is what we strive to deepen in the small Christian communities. Promoting Christian values and devotion enables us to overcome negativity, hinder the lingering practices of superstition and witchcraft, which remain deeply rooted in the imaginations of many of our beneficiaries, and to nurture a sense of true hope among community members.
“Nevertheless, if one still wonders why we take the pains to do all we do the answer can be summarized by saying in Swahili, ‘Mtu ni wattu’-‘A person is people.’ We believe that the suffering of others is our suffering, the wellbeing of others is our wellbeing, and the joy of others is our joy. The happier other people become, the happier we shall be. “As Jesus says, when you feed the little ones, you feed me. When you give them a drink, you give to me (Mt 25). When all is said and done, we are all connected, and our destinies are deeply interwoven. Hence, SSFOH’s motto, “Many walks … one destiny.”
“Please take time to visit our website www.ssfoh.org to view the programs and progress of SSFOH. God bless you.”