NEWSLETTER: Public Launch Update

Dear BLI friend, we are excited to share an update with you. BLI is officially launched! On July 29, over 1,400 people attended the BLI Public Launch on our Nandere campus. Kampala Diocese Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere and Honorable Justin Kasule Lumumba (from the office of the Ugandan Prime Minister) both took part in the ceremonies, along with various other religious and civil society leaders. Over 400 students from schools across the Luweero District attended, many of them partaking through song, dance, or the band. See photos and videos from the launch below.
First Cohort of Caretakers Commissioned
At the launch, BLI commissioned its first group of Caretakers to go out and care for God’s creation. BLI awarded the group of seven young men, one woman, fourteen seminarians, and Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere certificates in Integral Ecology. Father Emmanuel Katongole, a co-founder and the current president of BLI, charged them with the following: “We are sending you out to be caretakers of God’s creation, caring for the health of all God’s creation, the soil, the health of communities and your own health and wellbeing.” This first cohort was instrumental to the building of BLI in many ways. They have served as role models and leaders for the cohorts coming after them and have created a culture of dedication and excellence at BLI. These individuals will continue to be leaders in the BLI family, and seven of them have joined our teaching staff.
Media Coverage
Film and media crews were also in attendance. Enjoy this short clip summarizing the day’s festivities. You can watch a longer video of the launch here.
Also check out Notre Dame Professor and Director of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies Anibal Perez-Linan’s article about the launch here. Kampala-based news outlet Monitor also covered the event. See here.
Not only was the launch a joyous occasion to celebrate the successful start of BLI, but it also provided a space for supporters to re-engage with the Pope Francis’s call in Laudato Si’ and connect with others, from around the world, who are also working to answer that call. At the launch, Father Emmanuel reminded us of this need to respond, to act, saying, “Mother Earth is crying. God’s creation is dying. We need to do something about it.” BLI is doing something and welcomes all brothers and sisters from around the world to join us in this work.

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