Lourdel, Siméon (C)
Of the White Fathers Mission. He entered the White Fathers in 1874 and was ordained priest in 1877. In 1878 he was sent to East africa in the first White Fathers caravan to Nyanza, and arrived at Kageye with the vanguard on 12th September. On 20th January, 1879 he lefy by canoe with Brother Amans, arriving at Entebbe on 17th February. The place where they landed beyond the modern Entebbe is marked with a stone memorial. They settled at Rubaga near the court of Kabaka Mutesa. There were already Muslim teachers and Protestant missionaries at Mutesa’s court, and bitter religious dissention soon broke out. Mutesa became very hostile and in November 1882 the Rubaga Mission was temporarily given up, and the fathers returned to the south of the lake where a station was founded at Kamoga (Bukumbi). In February/March 1883 he and Fr. Levesque founded an orphanage at Tabora, returning to Bukumbi in April. In july 1883 he again left Bukumbi, this time fearing that ill-health would force him to return to Europe, but he got not further than Tabora. On 3rd April, 1884 he arrived in Urambo and founded Oukune Mission. In November he visited Mirambo at the seige of Kapera and was present when Mirambo died. In 1884 the White Fathers heard of the death of Mutesa, and in March 1885 he left Oukune. He arrived back in Buganda on 30th July 1885. In 1888 all the missionaries were expelled at the time of the Muslim coup d’etat and again he stated at Bukumbi. In January 1889 he and Brother Amans founded Nyegezi (near Bukumbi). Later in the year the Christians in Uganda fought their way back to power and the missionaries were able to return. Lourdel arrived at Mwanga’s headquarters on Bulingugwe Island on 14th September, 1889 and the following February reopened the mission at Rubaga. Here, however, he died on 12 May, 1890.
This article, used by permission, was written by Louise Pirouet, as part of A Dictionary of Christianity in Uganda (Department of Religious Studies, Makerere University College, 1969), p. 36. Copies available at Africana Section, Makerere University Library (AF Q 276.761 MAK and AR/MAK/99/1); Bishop Tucker Library, Uganda Christian University and in UK at the University of Birmingham; Crowther Centre Library, CMS Oxford and Louise Pirouet Papers, Cambridge Centre of African Studies.