In 1989, Fr. Tony Wach, a Jesuit from the Wisconsin Province, went on a summer trip to visit a fellow priest on a mission in Uganda. A teacher at Creighton Prep for 18 years, a Jesuit high school in Nebraska started for immigrant children, Fr. Tony felt a calling to the missions. Two years following his first visit to Uganda, he volunteered for a mission of his own in the Province of East Africa.
He has been serving now 27 years as a missionary in this strongly Catholic country and focused his efforts on rebuilding the war-torn nation, spiritually and educationally through the human connection. Upon his arrival, he recognized the need to help educate Ugandans on Christianity and show them that our faith reaches beyond the Mass and praying the rosary, and should also focus on serving the community and its people.
In 1996, Fr. Tony became a Jesuit Community Superior of Kampala and alongside his fellow missionaries worked on forming a local clergy, providing spiritual direction and enhancing community centered resources. In 2007, he helped found the John Paul II Justice and Peace Center to reach beyond those in religious life, promote awareness and help the community strive to create a more just and peaceful country. The center focuses on training, research and advocacy surrounding faith, social justice issues and human rights with Catholic Social Teaching as its foundation.
As Jesuit Community Superior of Uganda, Fr. Tony recognized a need to restore and rehabilitate the country’s northern region, the area most affected by the 25 year Lord’s Resistance Army reign. The imposed instability, lack of education and displacement made the need for aid greater than ever, and Fr. Tony made northern Uganda his newest mission. He and the Jesuit Refugee Service began talks of opening a school. After 5 challenging years of effort Ocer Campion Jesuit College was finally opened in 2010, championed by the East Africa Province of the Society of Jesus and funded by St Campion Jesuit High School Alumni from the US.
Ocer Campion integrates Jesuitic values for the wholesome formation of its students who achieve educational, spiritual and human growth through their relationship with Christ. It targets the underprivileged, children and families directly affected by war-time Uganda and builds personal development through education, enriching Christian values and inspiring service to build a stronger community and nation. Fr. Tony calls Ocer Campion “an answer from God to the long-suffering cries of the people.”
Today, Fr. Tony proudly continues his mission of service in northern Uganda as Ocer Campion’s Director. With the help of other missionaries, he has continued to develop efforts like Ocer Campion and JPIIJPC to spread the good works of Christ throughout Uganda.
Support our missionaries in their life-changing work, and in turn help students and families of Ocer Campion receive funds for schools.