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Fr. Paolino, a man who lived a life working for others

Fr. Paolino was born in a small village called San Pietro Apostolo in the Calabria Region South of Italia on the 4th of November 1937 to Santo and Rosina Tomaino. He was the first born in a family of 5 children. After Primary education, he joined a Teachers College with a wish and love of becoming a teacher. Fr Paolino’s life’s course changed when he met a Comboni Missionary who had spent many years in Sudan. The Missionary told the young boys that, at their age they had dreams and requested them to always Remember that, “while you are studying, somewhere in this world a human being is born, somewhere in a place of this world. He is waiting for you and needs your help.

On September 19958 Fr Paolino took his first vow and on 9 th September 1963, he took his perpetual vows. He was ordained priest on 28 th of June 1964. In January 1965, At 27 years of age, Fr. Paolino was assigned to work in Africa and that same year, he arrived in Uganda and assigned to Mbarara Diocese together with 3 other Priests including Fr. Sean Dempsey, Fr. Joseph Ambrose and Fr. Mario Cisternino.

When he arrived in Mbarara Diocese Bishop Jean-Marie-Gaëtan Ogez, sent him to serve in Kabale. In April 1968 Fr. Paolino Tomaino together with Fr. Tanel, Bro. Lucio Cariani were assigned to Nyamwegabira, to open up a new Parish at Makiro , in January to October 1971 he worked in Buhara and then to Rwanyena with Fr. Joseph Ambrose.

In 1973, Bishop Barnabas R.Halem Imana recalled him to Rushoroza Kabale and put him in charge of the Lay Apostolate Office. In 1975 Fr. Paolino organized a pilgrimge and took about 300 people to Rome.

In 1976, he got reassigned to Makiro Parish at the end of 1980, he left Makiro to go open the new Parish in Kambuga, and he was later joined by Fr. Pasquali and Father Franco later he opened up St Daniel Comboni College Kambuga.

In 1989, Fr. Paolino celebrated his 25th Priesthood Anniversary and this was the last year for Fr. Paolino in Kabale. In 1990 he again visited Italy for holiday when he returned in September 1990, he was assigned to Kyamuhunga a place he lived in for nine years.

He opened many other schools, KYAPS SACCO, hospitals in different districts in Mbarara diocese. Fr. Paolino Tomaino was assigned to Nyabushozi in 1999 on the Invitation of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda.

By that time; Greater Nyabushozi was still under Great Mbarara District which in 2005 was subdivided into 4 Districts, namely Mbarara, Isingiro, Ibanda and Kiruhura. Fr. Paolino remained the Parish Priest of Greater Nyabushozi for over 15 years. He was the architecture of Nyabushozi Project in which he planned to implement:

  • – Schools,
  • – Hospitals,
  • – Food Farming,
  • – Rain Water Harvest through digging Valley Dams and Construction of Concrete Water Tanks.
  • – Finance independence through community SACCOs

All the above were implemented.

  • – He successfully began 5 Secondary Schools and 70 Primary Schools.
  • – He constructed two Hospitals in Keibuza and Burunga. He was planning to construct another Hospital in Karengo (Ahakageti).
  • – He made sure people started to do subsistence farming. His various projects attracted other tribes to Nyabushozi who are now fully settled.
  • – Water Harvest is progressive and it is still being implemented.
  • – Financial Independence is visible through Rushere SACCO.

Fr Paolino’s health started deteriorating in 2020 when he started having serious health complications, on December 27th 2023, he fell ill and was moved from Kakoni to Kampala for specialized treatment, he was admitted at Platinum hospital.

On 13th February he was airlifted to Italy for further treatment. On 03rd March 2024, Fr Paolino breathed his last in Italy. Rushere will miss Fr Paolino so will Kambuga, Kyamuhunga and Kankoni. Condolences to Comboni Missionaries of the heart of Jesus and to his family.

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