My Visit to the Oblates Leper Colony in Lukulu, Zambia

My words here barely convey what I have witnessed here today from the ongoing work of the Missionary Oblates and Fr. Lazerous.  To help share my experience I have posted many photos for now and will add videos later to this page.

Before the Oblates built this housing, people with leprosy had nowhere to go but the local hospital for a place to stay.  This put the hospital in a difficult situation because there was no cure.  When the Oblates built this special housing, it provided a lasting solution to for the hospital and local community.  Today, leprosy has almost been eradicated and those afflicted with it are typically elderly. The Missionary Oblates care for them with love, respect and friendship! Here you can truly see God’s love in action.IMG_2894

Earlier in the day I danced with one lady with leprosy at church.  At the end of mass, a lady named Gladys, who had lost both of her legs, crawled from the front pew all the way back down the aisle our of church and out the door. She attended mass with a huge smile on her face through the whole service!  IMG_2892

In the above picture, you see Fr. Lazerous and Gladys visiting.  She has a husband at the colony.  I met their son there too, who is not afflicted.

Leper colony

In the picture above, Fr. Lazerous visits with the husband of Gladys at the leper colony.

Leper Colony

Fr. Lazerous visits the inhabitants of the Oblates leper colony on a regular basis. Today we met about 8 people and had a wonderful visit with them.

Leper Colony IMG_2890

Weaving baskets is how many people in the leper colonies have made made money.  One lady was making this basket when we stopped by to visit.


dancing in Zambia at Leper Colony


These last 3 pictures show me and the lady I danced with at mass early this day.  I was standing about 6 feet from her in church and she started dancing (which honestly is hard NOT to do). Then she motioned me to come out on the floor with her and we danced in front of the children’s section and they loved it!  Later in the day Fr. Lazerous, Billy Fuller and I visited her home and here we go again!

Author: John Wagner

I work for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Belleville, Illinois in the USA. The Oblates are a Roman Catholic congregation of priests and brothers founded after the French Revolution by St. Eugene De Mazenod to work among the poor. Today there are nearly 4,000 missionaries working in more than 60 countries around the world.

4 thoughts on “My Visit to the Oblates Leper Colony in Lukulu, Zambia”

  1. Good work, John! I’ve always been interested in the people and cultures of Africa. I especially was touched by the kindness and wisdom of the people of Sudan who had fled to Israel (We shared the same lodging)

    How interesting on the leper village. I guess we don’t hear too much about this in the States. What other ways does your ministry reach to these people and how receptive are they to the gospel?

    Take care, and God bless!

    1. I can say they are VERY receptive. The parish priest is highly respected and often a counselor to families. The church services and mass are very interesting to attend with a strong musical interest. The Oblates in Lukulu also help young girls with dormitory housing when they travel long distances to school. There are many other works that they do that hopefully I will share on the blog very soon. ThankS!

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