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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.

Executive Board

Name Position
Archbishop John Baptist Odama Chairman
Bishop Joseph Antony Zziwa Vice Chairman
H. E. Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala Patron
Archbishop Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga Member
Archbishop Paul K. Bakyenga Member
Archbishop Emmanuel Obbo Member
Bishop Giuseppe Franzelli Member
Bishop Callistus Rubaramira Member



Episcopal Latest News


12 priests were ordained

The Sacred Heart Cathedral at Lubaga in the Archdiocese of Kampala was filled to capacity as 12 were ordained priests. These are:
Fr. Aloysious Ssempagala, Fr. J. Thaddeus Kyagulanyi, Fr Lawrence .S. Kyagulanyi,
Fr. Antony Bbaale , Fr Innocent Augustine Bukenya, Fr. Deogratias Kateregga
Fr. Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe, Fr. Lawrence Lugoloobi, fr. Lawrence Ssekamattte, Fr. Joseph Ekutte, Fr. Nicholas Kayongo and Fr. Godfrey Kyeyune. while 10 were ordained to deaconate.
Congratulations to the new priests and our prayers to the Deacons.


Vatican Congregation releases guidelines regarding the Sign of Peace During Mass 2014-08-03 (by Rome reports)

The Sign of Peace is getting some more attention at the Vatican. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments released guidelines on the Rite of the Sign of Peace during Mass.

The letter, written by the current prefect of the dicaster, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, addresses several inquiries made by the Conference of Bishops in May 2008. The conferences asked the Congregation on their thoughts on changing the Sign of Peace to another moment "with the end of a better understanding and development of such a gesture.”

After much consideration, the Congregation for Divine Worship saw that it was best to preserve "in the Roman liturgy of the Rite of Peace in its traditional place and not introduce structural changes to the Roman Missal.”

The Congregation also gave several practical suggestions on how to better educate the Rite's significance during the Mass.

The guidelines also noted several liturgical missteps that are made during the Sign of Peace that should be avoided, including:

- The introduction of a "song of peace”, that does not exist in the Roman Rite;
- The displacement of the faithful in order to exchange the sign of peace;
- The priest leaving the altar to give the peace to some faithful;

Cardinal Cañizares concluded the letter, exhorting Bishops and Priests to help the faithful deepen the spiritual significance of the Sign of Peace.


Electronic News Bulletin for the month of October 2013

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 has 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.

September 2013 Download
October 2013 Download
November 2013 Download



MALAWI: Archbishop of Addis Ababa Elected New Chairman of AMECEA


The Catholic Bishops of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa

Most Rev Berhaneyesus D. Souraphiel
(AMECEA) have elected Most Rev Berhaneyesus D. Souraphiel, Archbishop of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as chairman on 24th July 2014 during business session of the 18th AMECEA Plenary Assembly.

Archbishop Berhaneyesus, as he is known by most AMECEA members, takes over from Most Rev. Tarcisio G. Ziyaye of Lilongwe Archdiocese whose mandate as Chairman of AMECEA has expired. Archbishop Ziyaye has served AMECEA as Chairman for six years.

Most Rev Berhaneyesus is the 10th Chairman of AMECEA and the first Bishop from Ethiopia to hold that position. Other countries which held that position in the history of AMECEA are Zambia and Uganda (three times each) while Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi have held it once.

Archbishop Berhaneyesus was ordained as a Vincentian priest on July 4, 1976. He was consecrated as a Bishop in 1998 by Cardinal Paulos Tzadua. On 7 July 1999 he succeeded His Eminence Paulos Cardinal Tzadua as Catholic Archbishop of Addis Ababa.

The Chairman of AMECEA is elected every three years during the business session of the Plenary meeting. The position is held for a maximum of two terms.



SOMALIA: The Difficulty of being a Christian in Somalia - A reflection from Administrator of Mogadishu


Whenever Bishop Rt. Rev. Giorgio Bertin, O.F.M. makes a visit to Somalia where he serves as an Apostolic Administrator, he has to conceal his identity as a Christian and a Catholic Bishop in order to be safe.

“When I go there, I don’t put any external sign that I am a Catholic Bishop or a Christian because it is too dangerous,” he said. He said that despite the grin picture, there is hope as many Somalis who lived in diaspora are slowly returning home and are ready to help in the rebuilding of their country.

Bishop Bertin was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Mogadishu which covers the whole country upon the assassination of Archbishop Pietro Salvatore Colombo, Ofm 25 years ago on 9th July, 1989 at the Cathedral of Mogadishu.

“Exactly a year and a half after the murder of Archbishop Colombo, the civil war broke out in the whole country towards the end of 1990 and, as a consequence, everything was destroyed,” he said.

Somalia, a largely Muslim country had around 2000 Catholics by the time the state collapsed and the presence of the Church was seen through the work of religious sisters in hospitals and also through the activities of caritas Somalia.

The Bishop stayed in Kenya for about ten years from January 1991 up to May 2001 and he continued to provide humanitarian services through Caritas Somalia which was collaborating with some local organizations.

Also while in Kenya the Bishop said he was involved in production of some books in Somali language and a Somali radio program broadcasted by Vatican Radio from Rome. The program which airs 12 minutes on Saturday and Sunday is addressed to the horn of Africa.

He explains that the biggest challenge in Somalia is lack of state and this has adversely affected the country. The drought that hit Eastern Africa was worse in Somalia. “It was particularly dramatic in Somalia because there were no state and institutions that would have led humanitarian response,” he said.

The Bishop said that from time to time he makes a visit to Somalia to assess the situation. “Last time I went was in the beginning of June 2014 and I met with the speaker of the parliament and the Prime Minister,” he said.

“My intention is to renew a permanent presence of the Church in Somalia, therefore whenever I go to Somalia I meet with the political leaders to dialogue. But unless there is a governing state and security, it is not possible for us to return in a permanent way.”



AMECEA holds Plenary Assembly in Malawi


AMECEA holds Plenary Assembly in Malawi

The 18th Plenary Assembly of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa AMECEA will take place in Lilongwe, Malawi from July 16-26, 2014. The theme of the Plenary Assembly is: New Evangelization through true conversion and witnessing to Christian Faith.

It will be hosted by the Episcopal Conference of Malawi. The Assembly takes place every three years and brings together over 250 Bishops of the AMECEA region. AMECEA comprises the eight countries in Eastern, Central and Southern Europe, namely, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Djibouti and Somalia are affiliate members.

At the Secretariat of the Malawi Episcopal Conference, several meetings for the plenary preparations have been going on, in order to make sure that everything is progressing according to the plan.

Most Rev. Tarcisio Ziyaye, Archbishop of Lilongwe is the Chairman of AMECEA. The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) will be represented by its President, Most Rev. Gabriel Mbilingi, Archbishop of Luanda, Angola. He will deliver a solidarity message from SECAM to the Plenary Assembly. Archbishop Mbilingi will be accompanied by the Secretary General of SECAM, Rev. Fr. Joseph Komakoma.



Episcopal Ordination and Installation of Bishop Francis Aquirinus Kibira of Kasese


Episcopal Ordination and Installation of Bishop Francis Aquirinus Kibira of Kasese

"You are a choice of the Lord, remember that you were chosen among men and women, to lead them but work for them and with them. Bear the challenges and accept them because you are following Jesus. May the Will off the one who has chosen you, guide you. Strive to serve rather than to rule. Proclaim the message of the Gospel, correct error with unfailing praying and teaching. Be a faithful overseer and a guardian always mindful of the flock you are shepherding.

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UEC Uganda martyrs day 3'rd June 2014 animated and led by Kotido diocese together with the Uganda Catholic Secretariat Organizing Committee .


UEC Uganda martyrs day 3'rd June 2014 animated and led by Kotido diocese together with the Uganda Catholic Secretariat Organizing Committee .

Bishop Filippi the Bishop of Kotido — at Namugongo Martyrs' Shrine.

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Catholic Bishops Applaud the Government for Security


Catholic Bishops Applaud the Government for Security during Uganda Martyrs Celebrations Procession from the Basilica with the Relics of the Martyrs The Catholic Bishops of Uganda applauded the Ugandan Government for ensuring maximum security during the Uganda Martyrs Celebrations Speaking from Kampala, the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) Communications Secretary, Fr. Philip Odii said, “On behalf of all Ugandan Bishops, the Archbishop of Kampala, Most Rev. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga profusely thanked the President of Uganda Yuweri Kaguta Museveni for ensuring that maximum security was maintained throughout the period of the celebrations; that is from the time when pilgrims started arriving at Namugongo till the end of the celebrations on the 3rd June.”

Archbishop Lwanga also thanked the President; his Vice President Mr. Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, and the Prime Minister of Uganda Mr. Amama Mbabazi for attending the celebrations on 3rd June 2014. Uganda anti-terrorist Police keeping vigil while at Namugongo Fr. Philip told AMECEA Online News that security was indeed tight, that the anti-terrorist police and the military personnel had been patrolling the area around Namugongo for days long before the material day of the celebrations.

He said that during the celebrations on 3rd June, the telephone lines and some radio stations were cut off air to ensure maximum security. “There had been warning against terrorists attack during the month of May and June and therefore, the government security agents did not leave anything to chance,” Fr. Philip said adding that “Throughout the celebrations, speaker after speaker cautioned people to remain vigilant and not take anything for granted.

At the end of the day, no incidents of insecurity scare were reported.” Meanwhile Bishop Giuseppe Filippi of Kotido who was the Main Celebrant during the Liturgical Dancers at the elebrations Eucharistic celebrations warned the Ugandans against worshiping money and power. “Uganda would be the best country to live in, if there was no corruption. “If we say no to injustice, our communities will live in peace and harmony," he said.

The Bishop urged the rich to share their wealth with the poor as he cited the Uganda Martyrs, who were committed to sharing what they had learnt with others and opened their houses to the sick. President Museveni challenged religious leaders to champion the fight against poverty by embracing programs geared towards improving household incomes.



New Bishop for Moroto Diocese Installed


Bishop Guzzetti is taking over from Bishop Henry Ssentongo Aparolianam, who served the diocese for 22 years.

In his message to the people of Moroto Diocese and to the new bishop, the outgoing Bishop Henry Ssentongo said “…Rise up, my dear people of Moroto Diocese, our new Shepherd is here. With deep gratitude to God and jubilation we receive our new Bishop Guzzetti. Welcome back to us. We do not need to say feel at home, you are already at home.

The Bishop Emeritus thanked the Christians from Moroto and asked for forgiveness for any wrong doings. “My deepest gratitude to all of you dear people of Moroto Diocese and Karamoja for the love, understanding, support and cooperation, which I have always received from you. Thank you so much. I am very sorry and apologize for the many things I failed to do and where I hurt you; Please pardon and forgive me! I extend a hand of friendship to everyone; I call you friends," he said.

Speaking at the ceremony Bishop Guzzetti said that God's surprises are really unpredictable. “It is with a trembling heart that I take up this new commitment as the Bishop of Moroto Diocese, returning to a place where I consider my Diocese and my people, where I spend my best years as a Missionary priest," he said to the congregation as he accepted the mantle to become the forth shepherd of the diocese adding that, "I greatly rely on your prayers, support and cooperation as I take up the service of shepherding the people of God in Moroto Diocese."

Rt. Rev Guzzetti was born on July 15, 1959 in Turate, Italy and ordained priest on September 1989. He becomes the fourth Bishop of Moroto Diocese which was created on March 22, 1965 with the late Bishop Sisto Mazzoldi as its first prelate. Bishop Mazzoldi was succeeded by Bishop Paul Kalanda who was later in 1992 transferred to Fort Portal Diocese and Bishop Ssentongo took over.

Among the people who attended the ceremony included: a delegation of 10 people comprising of Priests, Sister and Laity, from the Catholic Diocese of Lodwar Kenya, a neighboring diocese and an Anglican Church Bishop from Moroto.



AMECEA Organizes a Forum for National Secretariats’ Administrative Secretaries of SGs


The Administrative Secretaries/Personal Assistants to the secretaries general in the AMECEA Conferences met for the first time in Kampala Uganda during a one week forum organized for them, which took place on 12th – 16th May 2014.

The convener of the Forum is AMECEA Secretary General Fr. Ferdinand Lugonzo.

This is an initiative which has been endorsed and shall be supported by the National Secretariats of all the Member Episcopal Conferences of AMECEA

During the Forum in Uganda, the Secretary General for Uganda Episcopal Conference Msgr. John Baptist Kauta who welcomed the Administrative Secretaries said that he was happy the meeting took place and that the secretaries had an opportunity to interact with each other and share their experiences with a view of strengthening collaborations.

“You are the ones at the ground in the offices, work closely with the Secretaries General as they carry out their duties of implementing the Bishops’ resolutions on the work of evangelization,” he advised the secretaries adding that they must be up to date in carrying out their responsibilities in those offices and ensure smooth running of the conferences.

Apart from sharing their experiences and brainstorming on how they can work together to improve their services and support to AMECEA stakeholders, the Administrative Secretaries/Personal Assistants had an input by a specialist on corporate governance facilitated by Mr. Vincent Freedom Kaheera a renowned Consultant on corporate issues in Kampala, Uganda.

Sr. Anne Muiruri said that having been in constant communication with Administrative Secretaries/Personal Assistants from all AMECEA Conferences via telephone and emails, it was a great opportunity to interact in person. She said that they were able to share, critique, and recommend ways of improving their collaborations.

“I was able to tell them about the challenges I encounter while trying to obtain urgent information from various Conferences and together we were able to discuss and come up with ways to improve on our communication channels,” she said.

“Being at the central office of AMECEA, we communicate often with the Conferences for purposes of liaisons, consultations, information and collaboration.This forum is something I highly appreciate because it gave me the opportunity to unlock many potential ways of collaboration,” Sr. Anne explained.

The forum was attended by Sr. Anne Muiruri-Administrative Secretary to Fr. Ferdinand Lugonzo from AMECEA Secretariat; Mrs. Helen Kaburia Maingi-Administrative Secretary and Personal Assistant to Fr. Vincent Wambugu of Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops; Ms. Tenadan George-Executive Secretary to Fr. Hagos Haish of Ethiopian Episcopal Conference; Ms. Gloria Pereira-Administrative Secretary to Fr. George Buleya of Episcopal Conference of Malawi and Ms Cissy Kagimu-Principal Secretary to Msgr. John Baptist Kauta of Uganda Episcopal Conference.

It is hoped that the rest of the Administrative Secretaries/Personal Assistants will be able to join the Forum in their next meeting which is scheduled to take place in Nairobi Kenya in May 201



Maximum Security Measures to be taken during Uganda Martyrs Day Celebrations.

The Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) is working hard to ensure that there will be maximum security during this year’s Uganda Martyrs celebrations scheduled for 3rd June.

Speaking on phone from Kampala to AMECEA Online News, Fr. Philip Odii, the National Executive Secretary for Communications at the UEC said that already the committee in charge of Security for the preparations of the annual celebrations of the Uganda Martyrs is already working with the Ugandan Police to ensure security around Namugongo Shrine, the venue of the celebrations.

These tough security measures are being taken by the conference in the wake of terrorist threats which have been reported in the local media and also following the attacks that have been going on in the neighboring country Kenya. “Issues of security are being taken seriously because there has been reports of terror threat from the media even though no specific Churches are mentioned as targets,” he said adding that the police are already doing regular patrols at the Namugongo Shrine while at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Lubaga in Kampala, Security measures have always been taken care of especially during major celebrations.

According to reports from The New Vision Daily Newspaper in Uganda the US embassy has warned that Churches in the Ugandan capital face a "specific terrorist threat", amid a wave of attacks in east Africa blamed on Islamist insurgents.

"The threat information indicates a group of attackers may be preparing to strike places of worship in Kampala, particularly churches, including some that may be frequented by expatriates, in May or June," the embassy warned in a statement to US citizens Tuesday.

Uganda is one of the major contributors of troops to the African Union force fighting the Al-Shabaab in Somalia. On July 11th 2010 the country experienced terrorists attack during a suicide bombings carried out against crowds who were watching a screening of 2010 FIFA World Cup Final match during the World Cup at two locations in Kampala. The attacks left 74 dead and over 70 injured. Al-Shabaab, a Sunni Islamist Somali militia believed to have ties to Al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attacks as retaliation for Ugandan support for AMISOM.

Source: AMECEA Social Communications, UEC and News Agencies




Pope Paul VI to be beatified October 19, 2014


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has approved the promulgation of the decree for the cause of beatification of his predecessor Pope Paul VI. The approval was announced Saturday (May 10, 2014).

The beatification ceremony is scheduled to take place October 19, 2014, at the conclusion of the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the family.

The Holy Father received Cardinal Angelo Amato SDB, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on Friday afternoon, and authorized the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees:

- The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Montini) , the Supreme Pontiff; born September 26, 1897 in Concesio (Italy) and died August 6, 1978 at Castel Gandolfo (Italy);

- The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Luigi Caburlotto , diocesan priest, founder of the Institute of the Daughters of St. Joseph; born in Venice (Italy) June 7, 1817 and died there July 9, 1897 ;

- The heroic virtues of the Servant of God Giacomo Abbondo, diocesan priest; born in Salomino (Italy) August 27, 1720 and died in Tronzano (Italy) February 9, 1788;

- The heroic virtues of the Servant of God, Giacinto Alegre Pujals, professed priest of the Society of Jesus; born in Terrassa (Spain) December 24, 1874 and died in Barcelona (Spain) December 10, 1930;

- The heroic virtues of the Servant of God Carla Barbara Colchen Carré de Malberg , mother of a family, founder of the Society of the Daughters of St. Francis de Sales; Born in Metz ( France), April 8, 1829 and died in Lorry- les -Metz (France) January 28, 1891 .




[Bishop Elect of Kasese]


On 15th April,2014, Pope Francis appoints Rev. Msgr. Acquirino Francis Kibira, of the Diocese of Fort Portal and Rector of St. Paul’s National Major Seminary Kinyamasika, as the new Bishop of Kasese. The Holy Father has accepted the retirement of His Lordship Rt. Rev. Egidio Nkaijanabwo, upon having reached the age limit.

Date of Birth: 16th April 1958
Place of Birth: Kigoto-Bulyansungwe, Kamwenge
Prieslty Ordination: 23 September 1984
Foreign languages spoken: English, Italian, German


Primary School in Bulyansungwe;
1972-1976: Secondary school at St. Mary’s Minor Seminary, Fort Portal;
1977-1980: Philosophical Studies at St. Thomas Aquinas National Major Seminary;
1981-1984: Theological studies at St. Mary’s National Major Seminary Ggaba;
1987-1991: Licentiate in Sacred Scriptures at Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome;
1991: Hebrew language course at Hebrew University, Jerusalem.


1984-1985: Curate at Bukwali Parish, Fort Portal;
1985-1987: Professor at Katigondo National Major Seminary;
1991-1992: Curate at St. Charles Lwanga Parish, Fort Portal;
1991-1995: In charge of the permanent formation of clergy of Fort Portal;
1992-1995: Professor and Dean of Studies at St. Paul’s National Major Seminary, Kinyamasika
1995-2014: Rector of ST. Paul’s National Major Seminary, Kinyamasika.



REV. Fr. Damiano Giulio Guzzetti, MCCJ

On 20 February 2014, Pope Francis appoints REV. Fr. Damiano Giulio Guzzetti, MCCJ, an Italian Comboni missionary, as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Moroto. The Holy Father has accepted the retirement of his lordship Rt. Rev. Henry Ssentongo.

Fr. Guzzetti has been a missionary for many years in the Diocese of Moroto and speaks frequently Ngakarimojong.

Date of Birth 15 Luglio1959
Place of Birth Turate, Lombardy, Italy
Priestly ordination 23 September 1989
Languages spoken Italian, English, Ngakarimojong


• 1983-1985: Novitiate in venegono Italy
• 1985-1986: Studies in English in Dublin Ireland
• 1986-1988 Theological studies at St. Mary National major seminary Ggaba, Kampala Uganda.
• 1988-1989: theological studies in Taganza College, Nairobi, Kenya.

1989-1994: In charge of missionary animation and vocational promotion of the Camborne Missionaries Italy.

1994-2009: Curate in Namalu parish and later on parish and later on Parish priest of Matany parish in the diocese of Moroto

1999-2002: member of the provincial council of the Comboni missionaries in Uganda

2009-2013: Formatter of Postulant House of formation of Comboni Missionaries in Uganda

2009-2013: Treasurer and professor of Queen of Apostles philosophy central Jinja Uganda

2013-2014: Treasurer of Comboni Missionaries community in Venegono Italy


His Lordship Emmanuel Obbo appointed

The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Denis Kiwanuka of Tororo, and appointed His Lordship Emmanuel Obbo (who has been the bishop of Soroti) to become the new Archbishop of Tororo.
Bishop Obbo also remains the Apostolic Administrator of Soroti until further notice.

The installation of the new Archbishop of Tororo will take place in March at Uganda Martyrs Cathedral - Nyangole, in Tororo.
We thank Archbishop Kiwanuka for shepherding God's flock in Tororo and we welcome Bishop Obbo.


Great Gathering of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Family International Conference to be held in Uganda from 30th June to 12th July 2014

The International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS) in collaboration with the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) herewith announce:
Great Gathering of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Family, a prophetic spiritual Event and celebration as part of the journey towards the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Golden Jubilee 2017. The event will be held in Uganda from 30th June to 12th July, 2014, bringing together delegates from all the five continents of the world to Africa for the first time, to pray to the Lord for a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Renewal and the Church worldwide; and to seek what the Spirit is saying to Renewal Worldwide with the theme. "They were all filled with the Holy Spirit".
The Event will include the following activities:

1. An International Leaders Conference at Speke Resort Munyonyo from 30th June to 4th July 2014.

2. A pilgrimage to the Uganda Martyrs Shrine in Munyonyo and Namugongo on 5th July 2014.

3. Service to the poor, a tour of Queen Elizabeth National Park and a spiritual Public Rally in Mbarara Archdiocese from 6th to 12th July (Optional)

We will have a special workshop for the Youth Leaders in CCR and a special track for priests.



Pope Francis pays tribute to Nelson Mandela

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday paid tribute to Nelson Mandela expressing his hope that the late President's example will inspire generations of South Africans to put justice and common good at the forefront of their political aspirations.

The Pope's words came in a telegramme of condolences that he sent to the South African President, Jacob Zuma.

Please find below the full text of the telegramme:

It was with sadness that I learned of the death of former President Nelson Mandela, and I send prayerful condolences to all the Mandela family, to the members of the Government and to all the people of South Africa. In commending the soul of the deceased to the infinite mercy of Almighty God, I ask the Lord to console and strengthen all who mourn his loss. Paying tribute to the steadfast commitment shown by Nelson Mandela in promoting the human dignity of all the nation’s citizens and in forging a new South Africa built on the firm foundations of non-violence, reconciliation and truth, I pray that the late President’s example will inspire generations of South Africans to put justice and the common good at the forefront of their political aspirations. With these sentiments, I invoke upon all the people of South Africa divine gifts of peace and prosperity.



MALAWI: The Holy Father Appoints a New Bishop for Mangochi Diocese

Rt. Rev. Montfort Stima, the Apostolic Nunciature (Vatican Embassy) in Malawi is pleased to announce that His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Rt. Rev. Montfort Stima, hitherto Auxiliary Bishop of Blantyre, to be the ordinary of Mangochi Diocese.

Rt. Rev. Stima will be taking over from Rt. Rev. Alessandro Pagani whose resignation the Holy Father has accepted in accordance to Canon Law Can. 401 paragraph two.

The Rt. Rev. Montfort Stima, is currently the Diocesan Administrator of the Archdiocese of Blantyre where he will remain in charge of the Archdiocese until Rt. Rev. Thomas Msusa takes possession of the Archdiocese of Blantyre.

Rt. Rev. Montfort Stima hails from Khomera Village, TA Dambe, Mwanza, Neno. He was born on 27th December 1957; ordained a priest on 3rd August 1986 at Limbe Cathedral; appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Blantyre on 24 January 2010.




The Conference theme “Now More Than Ever: Targeting Zero” is derived from the UNAIDS’ vision of
striving for “Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths”, but it also highlights the need to “now more than ever” maintain the commitment to ensure access to treatment for everyone in Africa irrespective of their ability to pay for such treatment. The hosting of this Conference in South Africa is highly symbolic as it was in South Africa during the XIIIth International AIDS in 2000 that a turning point was reached in breaking the silence around AIDS in Africa, which resulted in an unprecedented commitment by donors, government and civil society to increase access to treatment in an attempt to turn the tide of this epidemic.

The 17th ICASA is an opportunity to renew this global commitment by drawing the world’s attention to the fact that the legacy is now under threat as a result of the global economic downturn. This year’s ICASA is an opportunity for the international community, and all Africans, to join efforts in committing to achieving an AIDS-free Africa. Given the urgency of the issue we are anticipating 7 000 -10 000 of the world’s leading scientists,policy makers, activists, PLHIV, government leaders – as well as a number of heads of state and civil society representatives – will be joining the debate on how to achieve this vision.

The conference will be chaired by Professor Robert Soudre, the President of the Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA) and co-chaired by Professor Ian Sanne, the CEO of Right Care and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand. The conference will be an excellent opportunity to promote inter-sectoral achievements in the AIDS response and to strengthen the partnership among governments, civil society, and development partners.

The objectives of ICASA 2013 are to:

• Serve as an advocacy platform to mobilise African leaders, partners and the community to
increase ownership, commitment and support to the AIDS response.
• Provide a forum for exchange of knowledge, skills and best practices in Africa and from around
the globe.
• Mobilise support to scale up evidence-based responses to HIV and AIDS, sexually transmitted
infections, tuberculosis and Malaria in order to achieve the millennium development goals.
• Act as platform to hold accountable all stakeholders to scale up and sustain the AIDS response.
• Create opportunities to define priorities and set policy and programme agendas to enhance
mobilisation and effective utilisation of resources.


Pope issues first Apostolic Exhortation: Evangelii Gaudium:


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has issued his first Apostolic Exhortation on Tuesday, Evangelii Gaudium, translated into English as The Joy of the Gospel. The 224-page document outlines the Pope’s vision for a missionary Church, whose “doors should always be open”. The Pope speaks on numerous themes, including evangelization, peace, homiletics, social justice, the family, respect for creation, faith and politics, ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, and the role of women and of the laity in the Church.

The Joy of the Gospel is the title Pope Francis has chosen for this first major document of his pontificate, putting down in print the joyous spirit of encounter with Christ that characterizes every public appearance he has made so far. The man who has constantly kept the media’s attention with his desire to embrace and share his faith with everyone he meets, now urges us to do exactly the same. To “recover the original freshness of the Gospel”, as he puts it, through a thorough renewal of the Church’s structures and vision. Including what he calls “a conversion of the papacy” to make it better able to serve the mission of evangelization in the modern world. The Church, he says, should not be afraid to re-examine “customs not directly connected to the heart of the Gospel” even if they may have deep historical roots.

In strikingly direct and personal language, the Pope appeals to all Christians to bring about a “revolution of tenderness” by opening their hearts each day to God’s unfailing love and forgiveness. The great danger in today’s consumer society, he says, is “the desolation and anguish” that comes from a “covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience.” Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests , he warns, “there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor.”

As we open our hearts, the Pope goes on, so the doors of our churches must always be open and the sacraments available to all. The Eucharist, he says pointedly, “is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” And he repeats his ideal of a Church that is “bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets” rather than a Church that is caught up in a slavish preoccupation with liturgy and doctrine, procedure and prestige. “God save us,” he exclaims, “from a worldly Church with superficial spiritual and pastoral trappings!” Urging a greater role for the laity, the Pope warns of “excessive clericalism” and calls for “a more incisive female presence in the Church”, especially “where important decisions are made.”

Looking beyond the Church, Pope Francis denounces the current economic system as “unjust at its root”, based on a tyranny of the marketplace, in which financial speculation, widespread corruption and tax evasion reign supreme. He also denounces attacks on religious freedom and new persecutions directed against Christians. Noting that secularization has eroded ethical values, producing a sense of disorientation and superficiality, the Pope highlights the importance of marriage and stable family relationships.

Returning to his vision of a Church that is poor and for the poor, the Pope urges us to pay particular attention to those on the margins of society, including the homeless, the addicted, refugees, indigenous peoples, the elderly, migrants, victims of trafficking and unborn children. While it is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life, he says, it’s also true that “we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish.”

Finally the new papal document also focuses on the themes of promoting peace, justice and fraternity, through patient and respectful dialogue with all people of all faiths and none. Better relations with other Christians, with Jews and with Muslims are all seen as indispensable ways of promoting peace and combatting fundamentalism. While urging Christians to “avoid hateful generalisations” about Islam, the Pope also calls “humbly” on Islamic countries to guarantee full religious freedom to Christians”

The full text of the new Apostolic Exhortation can be downloaded here or found on the Vatican website, while the main points are outlined in the synopsis below:



This is to officially inform you that SECAM has new Officers as stated below

SECAM’s 16th Plenary Assembly concluded with the celebration of Holy Eucharist at the Martyrs Stadium in Kinshasa. SECAM’s Organizing Committee thanked the Government of the DR Congo for all the support in preparations of the plenary.

The bishops elected as new office bearers for SECAM include:

President: H.G. Archbishop Gabriel MBILINGI, Archbishop of Lubango, Angola.
1st Vice President: H.L. Bishop Louis PORTELLA-Marie, Bishop of Kinkala, Congo-Brazzaville.
2nd Vice President: H.G. Archbishop Gabriel ANOKYE, Archbishop of Kumasi, Ghana.

Other new office bearers include:

General Secretary: Rev. Fr. Joseph KOMAKOMA, Zambia.
Deputy Secretary General: Fr. Samuel de Jesus PAQUETE, Angola.
Meanwhile, a three-year mandate for the Director of BICAM, Fr. Yves-Lucien EVAGA NDJANA from Cameroon was confirmed and that of SECAM’s Director of Communications, Mr. Benedict ASSOROW, from Ghana renewed.


Pope Francis announces Krakow in Poland







Pope Francis announces Krakow in Poland as the host for the next World Youth
DaY in 2016. 





  • To promote Integral Human Development in the Whole world Inspired by the Gospel Values (LK.4:18ff).