Originally purchased for the St Elizabeth Church in Branford, Connecticut and serving that community for years, the Carillon system has a new home in a chapel at a retreat center in the town of Soroti in eastern Uganda.
The St. Francis Xavier’s Chapel is a piece of a bigger development inspired by the Rev. Fr. Richard Okiria a native of that region.
Fr. Richard came to the United States as a student in 2001, when he joined the Yale University Divinity school.
It had always been his dream to establish a spiritual, retreat center, where people of all walks could withdraw and find solace and healing away from the noise of the world.
He purchased a piece of land and made a sketch of his dream, not knowing where and when he would get the resources to make it a reality.
A chance meeting and ultimate conversation about this dream with a couple from one parish he served, changed everything as the couple committed to help him realize his dream.
With that help, Fr. Richard set about constructing the center, which would be named after the wife of the family. The center, consists of two residence halls, a conference/dining hall, an administration block, health clinic, and the St. Francis Xavier Chapel consisting a bell tower. The tower will host both the carillon and a manual pull bell, all shipped from the USA.
The carillon , one of a kind in the whole Eastern region of Uganda, will supplement the rope bell which will serve as a call to worship for the community around. The carillon will serve as a reminder of God’s presence throughout the day as it plays spiritual songs.
For a long time, all we heard in our town was the Muslim minaret over the loudspeakers in town as they made their call to worship. Now we shall also hear Christian tunes and messages from our carillon bells.
We extend our gratitude to Church Specialties for helping us with carillon but above all to the St. Elizabeth Community. The chime system will continue to inspire God’s people, thousands of miles away from its original home.