Welcome by the Chairman of Uganda Episcopal Conference -His Grace John Baptist Odama
Welcome to the official website of the Catholic Church in Uganda. You will find on this website information about different dioceses in Uganda (parishes, religious communities, priests, institutions, etc.), the different commissions, institutions, and departments of the Catholic Secretariat, as well as important links to the Church universal and its organs. You can also read about the recent publications and press releases of the Uganda Episcopal Conference.
The Uganda Episcopal Conference is the Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy in Uganda, constituted with the approval of the Holy See, through which bishops express their collegial responsibility through collective action, to assure the progress of the Church and coordination of its social and pastoral ministry. It is headed by a Chairman elected every four years. He is assisted by an Executive Board, also chosen every four years, composed of six Chairmen of various Commissions.The Episcopal Conference of Uganda was founded in 1960.
Dduring their Annual Plenary of 2014, members of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, re-elected His Grace John Baptist Odama [above] and Rt. Rev. Joseph Antony Zziwa [below] as Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively for the next 4 years.
The Secretary General of the Conference remains Msgr. Dr. John B. Kauta for the same period.
Episcopal Latest News
UEC Justice and Peace department hold workshop on reconciliation for staff
By Jacinta W. Odongo
The participants (UEC staff) pose for a group photo
The one-day workshop, which was organized by the UEC Justice and Peace department in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame Center for Civil and Human Rights in the U.S.A, focused on lessons learned and good practices in thematic areas within reconciliation such as healing, the relationship between truth, justice and reconciliation, the importance of the Eucharist in the healing process and the role of the laity in reconciliation process.
In his presentation Prof Daniel Philpott, the Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, University of Notre Dame, said that reconciliation is a key objective in building sustainable peace and preventing a relapse into conflict.
“Through my many conversations with Archbishop John Baptist Odama, his life and witness have taught me enough about reconciliation for a lifetime,” said Prof Philpott who was also the key facilitator. “So many people in the Ugandan Church in so many ways have been witnesses to reconciliation through so much violence after many decades, dating back to colonial times. You should think about God’s plan for reconciliation as God has revealed it through the scriptures and through the Church, most recently through the great synod for Africa and the document Africae Munus that came out of it.”
He further stated that reconciliation is about building relationships among people and groups in society and between the state and its citizens stating that moral vision, truth and justice are the vital parts of the process of healing.
Prof Philpott (left) and Msgr Kauta address the participants at the workshop
“For many decades, apartheid was the national vision for South Africa based on racial separation. Under apartheid, blacks, colored, and Asians suffered greatly, both from economic discrimination and from violence. But certain practitioners of moral vision insisted that it would not be any old amnesty but one that would tell the truth about South Africa’s past towards the end of national reconciliation. Archbishop Desmond Tutu brought to the proceedings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reconciliation as a vision for all of South Africa. He exhorted those who had committed horrible crimes to tell the truth and to repent publicly, victims to forgive to see reconciliation as their nation’s future,” he explained.
Dr Aliba Kiiza the Executive Secretary of the UEC Justice and Peace department called on the participants to always reflect on their lives since it is a key element in reconciliation.
In his closing remarks Msgr John Baptist Kauta, the UEC General Secetary urged the participants to seek God’s grace during reconciliation.
“Reconciliation takes place internally in the victim and leads to forgiving the wrongdoer but all this need God’s grace. Unity always comes as a gift of the Holy Spirit and is a sign of God’s Spirit at work,” he said.
Laudato sě Summary for Bishops
These pages follow Laudato si’ step by step and help give an initial idea of its overall content. The numbers in parentheses refer to the paragraphs in the Encyclical. The last two pages are the Table of Contents.
Laudato Si - ENCYCLICAL OF POPE FRANCIS
“LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.1 ...More
Laudato si , A Map -study version
“What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” (160). This question is at the heart of Laudato si’ (Praise be to you), the new Encyclical on the care of the common home by Pope Francis. “This question does not have to do with the environment alone and in isolation; the issue cannot be approached piecemeal.” This leads us to ask ourselves about the meaning of existence and its values at the basis of social life: “What is the purpose of our life in this world? What is the goal of our work and all our efforts? What need does the earth have of us?” “Unless we struggle with these deeper issues – says the Pope - I do not believe that our concern for ecology will produce significant results” (160) ...More
Laudato si' -Questions and Answers
1. What’s new in Laudato si’ (LS)? What’s in this document that we have not seen from the Church before?
2. Why does the Pope pay little attention to the population problem?
Msgr. Dr. Ndamira re-elected vice president of Caritas Africa
By Jacinta W. Odongo,
Msgr. Dr. Francis Ndamira, the National Director of Caritas Uganda, has been elected as vice president of Caritas Africa, a post he held previously from 2011.
He was elected during the Caritas Internationalis’ General Assembly that was held in Rome, Italy from May 8-18, a confederation event that attracted a total of 164 national Catholic aid and development organizations from across the globe. Caritas Internationalis is the official humanitarian and development organization of the Catholic Church. Member organizations come together every four years for the General Assembly to pray together, hold elections for new leadership and decide the confederation’s strategic direction.
(Msgr Ndamira (center) Msgr Kauta (right) and other Caritas Uganda staff cut a cake to celebrate his election).
Msgr Ndamira was also re-elected as the coordinator of Caritas AMECEA and Member of the Representative Council to Caritas Internationalis, positions he will serve for a four-year term respectively.
The Secretary General of the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC), Msgr. Dr. John Baptist Kauta said during the weekly Mass at the Secretariat, “It is a great sign of the confidence of the people in Msgr Ndamira that they have transferred to him these responsibilities. We wish him God’s blessing and assistance in this task.”
Msgr was born in 1940 to Mr Raphael Ntembahaiguru who is currently 105 years-old and Mrs Olive Kakisuro aged 93 years.
He studied at Makiro Primary School in Kanungu district from 1952 to 1957 and later joined Kitabi Seminary for his A-levels. He entered the Major National Seminary of Katigondo from 1964 to 1967 where he began his philosophy and later joined Ggaba Major Seminary to pursue a degree in theology studies.
(Msgr Ndamira serves his congratulatory cake to some of the UEC staff)
It was after his graduation in Ggaba seminary that he was ordained a priest on April 12, 1970 in the Diocese of Kabale. In 1973 he travelled to USA for further studies where he obtained a Bachelors degree in Sociology at Villanova University in 1976. He later joined New York University for a Masters Degree and doctorate in Sociology and Development.
Upon his return to Uganda, he was appointed the Vicar General of the Diocese of Kabale from 1985 to 1994 and later appointed as deputy Executive Secretary of the Social Services and Development Commission at the Uganda Catholic Secretariat. In 1998 he was chosen as the National Director of Caritas Uganda, a position which he still serves currently.
Over 2500 international and local pilgrims confirm 2015 Martyrs Day
By Jacinta W. Odongo
At least 2500 international and local pilgrims have so far confirmed participation in the 2015 celebration of the Uganda Martyrs scheduled for June 3 at the Namugongo Shrines.
The celebration is usually held at both the Catholic and the Protestant Shrines, which are situated just a few metres apart in Namugongo. The majority of the pilgrims usually come from Rwanda, Malawi, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and DR Congo, besides Uganda by foot, vehicle, air and water.
The commemoration of the day is supposed to give inspiration and enhance Christian belief. The twenty two Catholic Martyrs were canonized on October 18 1964 as saints by Pope Paul VI, in the presence of Bishops from all over the world who had gathered in Rome for the Second Vatican Council.
UGANDA: Catholic Communicators in Uganda join forces to tackle domestic violence
As part of the ongoing Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) national campaign against domestic violence, the Diocesan Communication Coordinators and the Directors of Catholic Radio in Uganda joined forces on March 24-25 at St. Augustine Institute in Kampala, for a workshop on domestic violence prevention...More
STATEMENT OF THE APOSTOLIC NUNCIATURE IN UGANDA REGARDING THE VISIT OF POPE FRANCIS
On the return flight from Manila to Rome following the Apostolic Voyage to the Philippines, Pope Francis, in conversation with members of the press, was asked about his plans to visit Africa. Below is a literal translation of what he said:...More
Message of the Holy Father on the Occasion of the Twenty-Third World Day of the Sick (11 February 2015)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Press Release for the World Day of Peace 2015
Last December, the Holy Father’s annual Message for the 48th World Day of Peace was published. During the Mass of the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God celebrated at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Lugaba, the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Michael August Blume, presented it publically As Christians are still contemplating and celebrating the Mystery of Christ, whose birth enables us to truly become his brothers and sisters, we want to prayerfully study this message and make it our own not only on the first day of 2015 but throughout this year... More
The Holy Fathers`s Message for the World Day of Peace 2015
The Solemnity of the Mother of God 2015 World Day of Peace
It is an honor to begin once again the New Year with the Cathedral parish of Kampala under the loving gaze of Mary the Mother of God, Mother of the Prince of Peace, Mother of all who yearn for the peace that only Jesus her Son can guarantee... More
Bishops Recall Church’s Contribution in Dealing with HIV and AIDS
On the occasion of this year’s World AIDS Day marked last Monday, the Catholic Bishops of Uganda highlighted “the contributions that the Catholic Church has made through one of its currently running projects to the Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (EMTCT) of HIV.”
According to a report sent to CANAA on Wednesday by the National Communications Secretary of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, Father Philip Odii, the Bishops recalled their involvement in HIV and AIDS issues “from the very outbreak of the epidemic in the country,” and mentioned their first pastoral letter about the epidemic, which was published in 1989.
To date, all 19 dioceses have established HIV/AIDS Focal Point offices working alongside the health coordination structures to maintain the high quality and standards of health services rendered to the people of God. The Bishops’ report states that “Most recently, through the restructuring of the secretariat, both UCMB and the HIV/AIDS department were brought under the Health commission.”
UCMB refers to the Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau, also known as the Health Department.
The report further says, “In 2010, the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) through Cooperative Federal Agreement received funding from the US Government channeled through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide HIV/AIDS services.” In addition, the AIDS Care and Treatment (ACT) project had provided care to 54,711 clients as of September 2014 and that 7% of these clients were children under the age of 15.
“On the overall, the Catholic Health facilities currently reporting through the DHIS2 system recorded 90,646 clients,” the Bishops’ report reveals. It adds that, “the actual cumulative figures however should be higher as some of the facilities have not started reporting through the DHIS2 system.”
The Bishops called for collective responsibility in dealing with the HIV and AIDS reality.
“As we celebrate this year’s world AIDS day, it is imperative upon all of us, men and women of reproductive age, to ensure that we are part of the goal of moving to zero new HIV infections. Each one of us has a role to play,” the Catholic Bishops of Uganda insisted.
Source: CANAA News (CathNewsAfrica)
Malawian Nun to Head ACWECA in Nairobi
Following the 16th General Assembly of the Association of Consecrated Women in Eastern and Central Africa (ACWECA) in Lusaka, Zambia, where at least 150 Superiors of different congregations gathered to share and discuss many issues under the theme “Go do not be afraid and serve”, the assembly endorsed Sr. Eneless Chimbali of Servants of Blessed Virgin Mary (SBVM) in Malawi as Secretary General of ACWECA.
Speaking to ECM Communications department on the sidelines of her appointment, Sr. Chimbale who takes over the position from Sr. Cathrine Okari of BVM-Loreto Sister from Kenya said her new job is the most challenging one but her trust lies in God.
“It is God himself who made it possible for things to go in this way. I never expected in my life that one day I will go on Mission and now I have no choice but to fulfill the mandates that ACWECA wants to achieve in the next three years,” she said.
She said among others, her major tasks will be to promote, enhance, deepen and strengthen religious life through holistic formation at every level, promote capacity building for Mission by using Holistic Organizational Capacity Assessment Instrument (HOCAI) and Sub-Recipient Financial Management Policy (SRFMP) so as to become more effective and to continue to build solidarity with the Sisters in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan.
“I say like Mother Theresa who said ‘alone I cannot change the world but I can cast a stone in the water and create many ripples’.My trust is in my God as this is His work and not mine” she said.
Sr. Chimbali who until her appointment to ACWECA was the Secretary General for the Association of Women Religious In Malawi (AWRIM) thanked fellow sisters in Malawi who helped her to work better for its successes.
Meanwhile Sr. Prisca Matenga of Daughters of Redeemer in Zambia was elected the Chairperson of the Executive which is composed of one member from each member countries of ECWECA.
ACWECA has member countries from the AMECEA region namely Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia.
By Prince Henderson, ECM Communications Officer
The Gift and Blessing of Marriage Cannot be Taken Away by the Existing Challenges-Bishop Francis A. Kibira
Bishop Francis A. Kibira of Kasese Diocese, Uganda has said that the gift and blessings of marriage and family life cannot be taken away by the challenges that many marriages and families face in today’s life.
The Bishop said this in his homily when he led the Eucharistic Celebrations on Friday 28th with the delegates of the conference to revive the Council of the Laity in Eastern Africa (COLEA) whose theme isMarriage and Family Life and the Future of the Church and Societywhich is going on in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
“Despite the fact that in today’s society, marriage and family life is threatened by so many challenges, yet the special blessing that comes with the sacrament of marriage, the gift of marriage and family life cannot be taken away because of that,” he said adding that “I therefore urge you to emulate Jesus Christ, to look for Him and make Him the center of your marriages and family.”
The Bishop said that many couples often fail to realize that Christ is a special bond that binds/unite marriages and families and the strength of that bond depends on how they base their faith and trust on Him. “Many couples turn to other things when challenges arise in marriages and families and fail completely to turn to Christ, this shouldn’t be the case,” he said.
He advised that Christ should be the center of every marriage and family life and that He is the solution to all problems that exist in marriages.
Source: Pamela Adinda, AMECEA Social Communication
AMECEA Reviving the Council of the Laity for Eastern Africa (COLEA)
The workshop organized by AMECEA Pastoral Department to revive the Council of the Laity in Eastern Africa finally began in Dar-es-Salaam Tanzania at the Conference’s Secretariat in Kurasini. The workshop whose theme is ‘Marriage and Family Life and the Future of the Church and Society’ started on Tuesday, 25th and ends on 30th November, 2014.
According to Fr. Febian Pikiti Mulenga, Coordinator of AMECEA Pastoral Department, the workshop is well attended as participants have turned up from all AMECEA Conferences and beyond.
“We are very happy that all AMECEA Conferences have this time around managed to send delegates to this very important workshop,” he said adding that there are some conferences which due to various challenges often fail to send delegates to planed workshops.
“Eritrea and Sudan conferences often miss out on workshops planned by AMECEA due to various challenges that are beyond their control, however this time around, we thank God that they managed to send delegates,” he added.
“I am very delighted that we also managed to get participants from AMECEA Affiliate Countries of Djibouti and Somalia and also from Zimbabwe and Mauritius; this shows that the region is indeed committed to reviving the council of the laity,” Fr. Pikiti explained.
According to Rt. Rev. Philip Anyolo Bishop Chairman of AMECEA Pastoral Department, the Council of the Laity for Eastern Africa has failed to remain permanently alive since it was established in 1975.
He further explained that during the last two Plenary Assemblies of Bishops of AMECEA, we have made resolution to encourage the laity to revitalize this association. “Now is the opportune time for us to say, the Council of the Laity for Eastern Africa is resurrected,” he said.
The Eucharistic Celebrations to mark the official opening of the workshop was graced by five AMECEA Bishops which included the Auxiliary Bishop of Dar-es-Salaam Rt. Rev. Eusebius Nzigilwa who represented HE Polycarp Cardinal Pengo. Also present was Bishop Chairman of AMECEA Pastoral Department Rt. Rev. Philip Anyolo of Homabay Diocese Kenya; Rt. Rev. Method Kilaini, Auxiliary Bishop of Bukoba Tanzania, Bishop Francis A. Kibira of Kasese Diocese Uganda and Bishop Telesphor Mkude of Morogoro Tanzania.
Source: Pamela Adinda, AMECEA Social Communications
TANZANIA: Bishops of AMECEA Pledge to Make Lay Apostolate a Priority
Bishop Chairman of AMECEA Pastoral Department Rt. Rev. Philip Anyolo on behalf of AMECEA Bishops expressed commitment to the revival of the Council of Laity of Eastern Africa (COLEA).
Addressing the participants at the opening ceremony of COLEA in Dar-es-salaam, Bishop Anyolo said, “As your Shepherds, we, the Bishops of AMECEA, pledge our commitment to making formation of the lay people, a pastoral priority.”
Amid calls from the participants to come up with strategies that would strengthen family life, Bishop Anyolo who is also the ordinary of the Diocese of Homa bay Kenya said that the family is indeed the sanctuary of life. “It is in the family where life is received, nurtured and raised to its maturity. In fact, the future of the world and of the Church passes through the family, which is the fundamental cell of society,” he said.
Bishop Anyolo challenged the participants to remember that they are on the frontiers of evangelization and have the mandate to cause the Church to be present in the world. “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world,” he said.
He explained that Pope Benedict XVI, in Africae Munus, says, "The laity are called to activity in the political, economic, cultural and social fields. They must be equipped with a good knowledge of the Social Doctrine of the Church, which can provide them with principles for acting in conformity with the Gospel" (AMI28).
Speaking at the same event, Rt. Rev. Telesphor Mkude, Bishop of Morogoro Tanzania, pointed out that today the family is experiencing very difficult times that require Church's compassion and understanding.
He said that the recently concluded Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization, convoked by Pope Francis came at the very right time.
He said that some of the challenges facing the family and which need to be urgently addressed include widespread cohabitation which does not lead to marriage and family; homosexuality; presumption that the marriage bond can be temporary and lack of faith in the sacrament of Marriage.
The workshop on revival of council of the laity in Eastern Africa will be concluded on Saturday 30th. A total of 60 participants are attending the conference.
Source: Pamela Adinda, AMECEA Social Communications, Dar es salaam, Tanzania
CONTINENTAL WORKSHOP ON SMALL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES ENDS IN ACCRA.
The Church in Africa has been urged to do more in the area of evangelisation by putting into practice the Gospel message and not to rely only on words without facts or deeds. Addressing the closing session of a continental Workshop on Small Christian Communities in Accra, Ghana today, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, Archbishop Jean-Marie Speich challenged Christians be like Christ- the Incarnate Word.
He pointed out that it was not enough for meetings or workshops to come up with propositions or decisions that cannot be put into practice, adding that “we have had enough of speeches, talks and presentations”. What was needed, he stressed, was Christian Communities which did not have arm-chair members but rather people working for the progress of the Church in Africa.
Archbishop Speich noted that Small Christian Communities have been in existence in Africa for over 150 years. He said that the poor men and women, catechists etc. who bore witness to the Catholic faith on the arrival of the early missionaries formed, as it were, the first Small Christian Communities.
The Nuncio emphasised that, Christianity is to a great measure an African Traditional Religion. He explained that the Holy Family fled to Egypt where they were given protection, therefore, Christianity should not be seen as a foreign religion but one in which Africa shares in its founding. “Christianity did not come to Africa, it was also born in African.” He reminded the participants that the Holy Family is Patron of Small Christian Communities.
Archbishop Speich also advised the participants coming from 12 different African countries and representing five of the eight Episcopal Regions of Africa not to be swayed by modern ideologies but keep to their African Identity.
The four-day (November 22-25, 2014) workshop with the theme: Small Christian Communities, Moving toward an African Year of Reconciliation and Sharing Experiences with Other Churches was officially opened by Rev. Fr. Joseph Komakoma, Secretary General of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).
Fr. Komakoma said that the Workshop was a follow-up to one that was held two years ago in Kenya. It was also to carry out a mandate given by the Bishops of Africa to address the issues pertaining to Christian Communities as outlined in the 1994 First Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops African Synod and the Apostolic Exhortation of the 2009 Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops (Africae Munus) which challenge SCC members to be agents of reconciliation, justice, peace and reconciliation.
The workshop was also seen as a form of preparations for involving SCCs on the continent in coming up with strategies toward the celebration of the African Year of Reconciliation the dates of which will be announced soon.
Mr. Michael Meyer, of the Theological Department of MISSIO, Aachen in his presentation commended the Church in Africa for working on the formation or revitalisation of SCCs at all levels of the Church on the continent. He however advised that in order to sustain such communities and make them more vibrant there was the need to create a platform or system for them to network. Mr. Meyer also gave a brief presentation of the current situation of the Church in Germany, which he said was going through some challenges.
Presentations were made on the following sub-themes during the Workshop:
a) The Theology of Small Christian Communities and the need for Reconciliation in Africa in the Light of Africae Munus by Rev. Fr. Ignace NDONGALA, A Theologian from DRC working in Canada.
b) The Biblical Apostolate at the Service of Reconciliation in Africa by Fr. Yves-Lucien Evaga Ndjana, Director of BICAM, SECAM Secretariat.
c) Small Christian Communities Strengthening the Local Church at the Base through Inculturation and Dialogue in the Spirit of Ujamaa in Kigoma, Tanzania by Rev. Fr. Ferdinand BARUGIZE, Kigoma Diocese, Tanzania.
The Workshop organised by SECAM in collaboration with MISSIO, Aachen, Germany also had reports from experts on SCCs from some countries in the African continent, for example, Congo Democratic Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, South Africa and Tanzania.
The participants concluded the Workshop with a number of recommendations which included the setting up of SCCs where they do not yet exist. A Working Group would be constituted to work out the modalities for a follow-up Workshop in 2015 in Burkina Faso.
The Eucharistic Celebration of the opening ceremony and the workshop itself were dedicated to Rev. Fr. Pierre Ile Bosangia, First Deputy Secretary General of SECAM who died in the course of preparing for the Workshop on November 11, 2014. He has since been buried in his home country, DRC.
Issued by the Communications Office of SECAM.