Everyone loves ice cream, especially the “Ice Cream Man,” who visits Providence Academy’s Lower and Middle School Students once a year, this being his first visit since Covid. Monsignor Matthew Odong, affectionately known to PA as the “Ice Cream Man,” along with Father Rom Paul, works with the organization Hope for Uganda, and wants to involve our community through an ice cream fundraiser. 

Monsignor Odong and Father Paul at Upper School Mass. PAW Photo Credit: Debra Spears

Odong co-founded Hope For Uganda due to his “love for humanity and restoring hope.” The people of Uganda had suffered through a twenty year war, and more than ever they needed something to bring them hope. For Odong, this meant prayer. 

Hope for Uganda was started in Minnesota by Monsignor Odong and the Vaughan family, giving the people of Uganda hope through prayer. The organization gives both boys and girls the opportunity to attend Archbishop Flynn Secondary School in Uganda. 

In addition to Hope for Uganda, Odong is affiliated with Sacred Heart Seminary in Uganda. Almost 200 young men attend, each one with the dream of becoming a priest and bringing their own “hope” to the nation of Uganda through prayer and doing the Lord’s work. 

Hope For Uganda felt that children in Pader District, Uganda, should be given equal opportunity to get a faith filled education, and so Archbishop Flynn Secondary School opened their doors and their arms. Archbishop Flynn’s Secondary School is in the top 3% of schools in the country of Uganda. 

Father Rom Paul expressed to his homily during Mass that he was just one boy sponsored by a family in America, who supported him through Seminary School, fulfilling his dreams of becoming a priest. 

Mrs. Marcia Farniok, a second grade teacher at Providence, was involved with the organization while teaching in Uganda in 2006. Farniok had so many great memories with the loving community she experienced. One of her favorites was “the way their culture celebrated Mass, with hours of dancing and singing.”

Second grade students ask Monsignor Odong questions. PAW Photo Credit; Debra Spears

Odong would love for Providence families to get involved with his organization. “God would like America to be a mission country,” he reflected.  

America is a land of opportunity and wealth, and the ways that we can get involved are simple. The simplest option is to pray for the leaders of the organization, and the people it is reaching, monetary donations are also appreciated. Monsignor Mathew Odong said, “Don’t stop at counting your blessings, also share your blessings.” 

Mrs. Farniok’s class smiles with Monsignor Odong and Father Paul. PAW Photo Credit: Debra Speares

For more information, visit: https://www.hopeforuganda.org/donate