Colorado man shares his love of math — and Catholicism — with Ugandan students


Father Okiria’s parish is in a particularly poor part of a largely agrarian region, where cattle ranching and crops such as potatoes and cassava dominate. Resources are scarce for Catholic schoolchildren.

Wondering how he could help, Jolly turned to his love of math. As a worker in the high-tech industry, he’s a numbers whiz and enjoys creating puzzles and educational resources.

Jolly offered to create math-based activities and resources for students in Catholic schools in Uganda. In the months that followed, he and Father Okiria traded puzzles, math games, and even a Jolly-created glossary listing common math terms, which has since been translated into four languages.

“One of the great things about math is that it’s actually universal. Now the ways we approach math aren’t universal…but the way people arrive at the answers is really cool,” said Jolly said.

“I have found that the games I introduce to Ugandan students are also things that appeal to the kids here at Longmont.”

Okiria, in return, celebrated many Masses for Jolly and her family, for which Jolly says he is very grateful. Despite the jet lag and a language difference, it’s the same Mass, and Jolly said it was meaningful for him to ponder that fact.

“Just make the connection and see where it goes. May the Holy Spirit take him where he needs to go.

The Lay Division of St. John Vianney Seminary is sponsoring a number of lectures and classes in the coming months, including a free lecture by Cardinal Stafford on the Liturgy of the Hours; a three-week course on the Eucharist; and a six-week course on the Sacred Heart. For more information, visit their website or contact them at 303.715.3195 or [email protected]


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