What an extraordinary year this continues to be as we live through a time of disruption, unravelling, and uncertainty created by the Covid 19 Pandemic. This is truly a Kairos moment, a time of suffering and loss, but also a time of re-assessment; it is a time of lament, but also a time of hope. As you know the two, lament and hope, are like (as Augustine reminds us) twin sisters – they go hand in hand. For more of my reflections on the Covid 19 Kairos crisis see my interview and blog post below.The Covid 19 shutdowns in March found me in Uganda where I was able to experience firsthand the suffering of millions especially the poor in the urban and slum areas of Kampala and other cities.The lockdowns provided confirmation, if any was needed, how everything is interconnected, and of the urgent need to attend to the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor. Initiatives like Bethany Land Institute are not only needed, they are urgent.That is why at BLI this has been an exceptionally busy year, as we get ready to for the formalopening of the institute early next year (just a few months hence). I am therefore happy to share some updates of what has been going on at BLI.

Two dormitories, staff houses, commons building are under construction with an expected completion in early January.

We plan to welcome our 
first Caretakers in February 2021!
See information about our new 
Scholarship Fund below.

Curriculum Development

After extensive consultation and many drafts, a unique BLI curriculum that integrates the practical, personal, technical and spiritual dimensions of integral ecology has been developed. A consultant has now been hired to develop the syllabi and teaching materials. 

Two key senior staff have joined the team!

Program Director: Sylvester Kule, BLI Program/Formation director. An agro ecologist with over 20 years of leadership experience running a farm school and of working with agricultural-based NGOs in skills training and community outreach. As Program Director, he will oversee the implementation of the BLI curriculum and serve as chief trainer and mentor to BLI caretakers.
Lazarus Trees Director: Chris Mukwaya, 
Director of our Lazarus Tree program.
A forester with extensive background and passion for ecological conservation, 
Chris is already working with a local team to protect the BLI forest on a community outreach of ecological education and reforestation.

Photos from the farm

Father Emmanuel

Read my reflections on the Covid-19 crisis as a way to live out new visions of community:

COVID-19 as a Kairos moment
Plough Magazine interview

We continue to be grateful to you and all our partners and friends that have made this work possible. As we look ahead to welcoming the first cohort of BLI caretakers, we ask for your continued prayers and support. Once the institute is up and running, it will generate income through tuition and sale of food products. Until then, they rely on your support to keep them operational.

We are thankful for the support that you have provided in the past, and hope that you can contribute to our fundraising goal at this time. There are several ways that your gift can support BLI, among them:

Scholarship Fund
We formally launched our scholarship fund.

St. Francis House
A new capital campaign to build St. Francis House, our guesthouse for
student interns and visitors to BLI.

Learn more about these projects here:
How you can support BLI

Please consider making a gift through our website or by check to:
Bethany Land Institute
PO Box 6391
South Bend, IN 46660

Be assured of my prayers to you and your loved ones throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons.

Fr. Emmanuel Katongole


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