By Watchdog reporter
The late Fr John Scalabrini is more known today as singer Jose Chameleone’s father-in-law. The priest is a foster father of the singer’s wife Daniella Atim.
The priest, who has lived the last part of his life at Mutungo Bbina parish where he lost a long battle to cancer, has been a strong fatherly figure in the lives of the celebrity couple that when Chameleone once declared he had become a Muslim, the priest castigated him, and threatened to withdraw his daughter and children from him.
Fr John Scalabrini, however, was not only such a fatherly figure for Daniella and Chameleone.
He has been a missionary priest dedicated to Uganda, with a legacy that will leave behind a big footprint on the Ugandan community. Fr John Scalabrini has been a mentor and supporter to orphans, widows, and hundreds of disadvantaged people.
The priest has built schools and prayer centres attracting thousands of people.
He started the retreat centre called Emmaus in 1989 and built Bishop Cyprian Bishop Cipriano Kihangire School, Biina. The man of God also had a construction firm involved in projects on semi-charitable terms.
In Luzira neigbourhood, the priest has been an inspirational personality, building schools, a hospital, and a football stadium.
Fr John Scalabrini who has worked in Uganda since 1964 died on Tuesday morning at St Francis Hospital, Nsambya in Kampala, where he was admitted last Thursday.
Fr John, born in 1934, was an Italian missionary from Limido Comasco, Italy. He has lived in Uganda since 1964, spending nearly 30 of those years among the Acholi in Northern Uganda where he built schools, and installed flour mills.