Fund Helps Survivors

Adapted from a Diocese of Texas announcement

The Diocese of Texas has established a fund for survivors of the Rev. Israel and Dorcas Ahimbisibwe. The vicar, his wife, and their son Jay, 5, were found dead in their west Houston apartment on February 2.

“The fund will help to defray funeral expenses — returning bodies to Uganda if that is what the family wants” and to establish an educational fund for the couple’s two older sons, Emmanuel, 17, and, Isaac, 19, said Bob Biehl, diocesan treasurer.

The diocese will accept donations online or by mail (Episcopal Diocese of Texas, 1225 Texas St., Houston, TX 77002). Checks should be designated to the Ahimbisibwe Fund.

Police have not disclosed a cause of death or any indication of motive for the murders. The bodies were found Monday after repeated attempts by church members to contact the family went unanswered. Ahimbisibwe had failed to show up for church services on Sunday.

A prayer vigil at Holy Spirit, where Ahimbisibwe had served and taught Christian education in the school, filled the church Monday evening. Across town at Church of the Redeemer, where Ahimbisibwe was vicar, a congregation of more than 150 friends and parishioners gathered to remember the family. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Bishop Andy Doyle led the Redeemer congregation in prayer and asked for people to share their thoughts about the family. One young girl remembered Ahimbisibwe praying for her Girl Scout troupe, a mother wondered how she would tell her five year old child that his best friend was dead, and another prayed for the “gift of tears” because she “felt frozen” by the tragedy.

A University of Houston student who had worked with Ahimbisibwe in campus ministry talked about the plans they had made. “There was so much we wanted to do and Israel was so excited about it,” he said.

Another spoke of the desire Israel and Dorcus had for their sons’ educations. Others gave thanks for having “a priest who was so full of love and knowledge.” Others asked for prayers for Emmanuel and Isaac and for family members in Uganda who were just learning of the tragedy.

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