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
Thousands of mourners bid farewell to Bishop Kalanda
By Media Officer – Uganda Episcopal Conference
Rt. Rev.Kalanda, who served as a bishop in the dioceses of Moroto and Fort Portal in Uganda, was laid to rest at exactly 2.30pm. He died at the age of 88 while in his sleep on August 18 at his residence in Villa Maria Parish, Masaka Diocese.
The burial ceremony began with a Requiem Mass that was led by Cardinal Wamala also his closest childhood friend, and concelebrated by H.E Blume, H.E Kasujja, Archbishops, Bishops and over 500 priests.
Cardinal Wamala, who met Bishop Kalanda in 1934 and became close friends, described him as a consoler, adviser and a great nationalist who even participated in selflessness for this country in the 1960s.
“I am very grateful to all those who have offered me special condolences because of the connection that I had with Bishop Kalanda from 1934,” Cardinal Wamala said in his speech. “He was my role model, a man of prayer, a man of the people and a man of God. He loved the people he served and that is the reason why you see so many people gathered here today. Paul has gone but we ask God to reward him abundantly.”
The Bishop of Masaka, Rt. Rev John Baptist Kaggwa gave an emotional homily and called on all Christians to emulate Bishop Kalanda’s exemplary life of love, humility,and prayer so as to get God’s grace and mercy at the hour of death.
“My dear mourners, death frightens, surprises us all and lives behind a deep impression that none of us will escape it. It is not often that we bury bishops, it is a mystery but a reality and none of us knows when, how and where it will surprise us. It is described by the catechism of the first scripture as the end of time of grace and mercy which God offers man so as to work out his life,” Bishop Kaggwa explained.
He further gave his gratitude to all the Christians for attending the burial ceremony to bid farewell and accompany Bishop Kalanda at his last moment.
The Vice Chairman of the Uganda Episcopal Conference and Bishop of Kiyinda-Mityana Diocese, Rt. Rev. Joseph Antony Zziwa described Bishop Kalanda in three words as a religious, civilized, and educated person.
“Very few people can combine these characters. Consequently, many of us have gone through his hands and that was at Katigondo Major Seminary where he formed us to who we are today. He has been very instrumental in our Conference and we pray that the great gifts that the Lord endowed in him don’t go with him but remain with us,” Bishop Zziwa stated.
The Papal Nuncio to Uganda, Archbishop Blume said that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, was sad to learn about the death of Bishop Kalanda and he read messages of condolence from the Vatican.
The burial ceremony was attended by many dignitaries, State ministers and politicians including the Vice President of Uganda, His Excellency Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, the Prime Minister of the Buganda Kingdom, Charles Peter Mayiga, and the former Vice President of Uganda, H. E Gilbert Bukenya, among others who described the deceased as a true man of God.
Bishop Kalanda was ordained a priest at the age of 30 in December 1957. He was appointed Bishop of Moroto in 1980 at the age of 53. He served for 10 years then appointed Bishop of Fort Portal on June 17, 1991 a diocese he served until March 18, 2003. He also served as the Apostolic Administrator of Lira Diocese until 2005.
He spoke eight languages, Luganda, Kiswahili, Runyoro-Rutooro, Karimojong, Latin, English, French, and Italian.
UEC Chairman salutes Bishop Kalanda for his exemplary life
Uganda Episcopal Conference, Media Officer
The Chairman of the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) and Archbishop of Gulu, Most Rev. John Baptist Odama has described Bishop Paul Kalanda, the fallen Emeritus Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Portal, as a “profoundly great man who was a mentor, missionary and an icon of wisdom.”
Bishop Kalanda died in his sleep Tuesday morning at his residence in Villa Maria Parish located in the Diocese of Masaka, Central region of Uganda.
Born on February 24, 1927 in Buwunde, Masaka Diocese to Mr. Simon Zilyawukanya Kalanda and Mrs. Agnes Nakachwa, Bishop Kalanda had four siblings including three brothers (all now deceased-RIP) and one sister.
In 1934 he began his Catechism classes at Kabuwoko Catholic Church in the Diocese of Masaka. Upon completion of his catechism course, he joined St. Francis Primary School and later went to Bukalasa Seminary in 1942 and Katigondo Major Seminary in 1949.
It was after his fifth year at Katigondo that he was offered a scholarship alongside his longtime friend, His Eminence Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala, to pursue their studies at Urbano University in Rome.
He was ordained a priest on December 21, 1957 and thereafter continued with his studies at the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome) where he earned his Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Canon Law in 1961.
In November 1961 he returned to Uganda and was appointed lecturer at Katigondo National Major Seminary and later became Rector at the same Seminary, making him the first African to assume that office.
He also obtained a diploma in African Social Anthropology at Oxford University in the United Kingdom in 1967. He was one of the founders of the Catholic Higher Institute of East Africa currently known as the Catholic University of East Africa(CUEA) in Nairobi, Kenya.
On November 29, 1980 he was appointed Bishop of Moroto Diocese in the Tororo Ecclesiastical Province and was consecrated Bishop on March 22, 1981. He was later appointed as Bishop of Fort Portal on April 28, 1991 and installed as the Ordinary on November 3, 1991 until his retirement on June 15, 2003. He served as the Apostolic Administrator of Lira Diocese from December 2, 2003 until July 9, 2005.
Bishop Kalanda will be laid to rest today at Bukalasa Seminary in Masaka Diocese starting with a Funeral Mass at 10:00 a.m.
New Electronic News Bulletin
We are glad to inform you that in order to improve information flow and news sharing in the Catholic Church in Uganda, the Social Communications Commission of Uganda Episcopal Conference established an electronic news bulletin called New Contact. Please feel free to DOWNLOAD your copy today send copies of this publication to any body who may be interested.
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.