President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday joined hundreds of Catholic faithful to mark 50 years of Jinja diocese. In a colorful ceremony held under the theme: ‘Remain in my love’, the President thanked God for the gift of life that has enabled him to witness all these developments.
President Museveni told the faithful that the country was at the time in turmoil where ministers like Mathias Ngobi, Grace Ibingira, Dr. Lumu, Balaki Kirya and George Magezi, were arrested and in the subsequent regimes, prelates like Janan Luwum and Father Clement Kigundu were extra judicially killed.
He added that these vices were all stemmed by NRM when it came to power in 1986 and there is now freedom in the country, including that of worship where believers of different religious denominations can come together to functions like the one of the Golden Jubilee in Jinja.
While welcoming the President and the congregation to the ceremony, the host Bishop, Rt. Rev. Charles Martin Wamika of Jinja Catholic diocese disclosed that plans are underway to establish a radio station to help mobilize not only the faithful but all Ugandans in the diocese on how to eradicate poverty, promote health and other pertinent issues affecting society.
To this effect, a fundraising drive was conducted towards the construction of the radio station. The Secretary General of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), Hon. Justine Kasule Lumumba, auctioned the President’s portrait at over Shs60 million in cash and pledges while the Prime Minister of Busoga Kingdom, Muvawala Sekere, auctioned the portrait of the first Bishop of Jinja Diocese, Rt. Rev. Joseph Willigers at over Shs. 40 million.
President Museveni on his part contributed Shs 50 million in cash and pledged to complete the balance of shs.380 million. The establishment of the radio station requires Shs500 million.
Earlier, the main celebrant of the Mass, Apostolic Nuncio to Uganda Archbishop Michael August Blume, strongly urged Christians of Jinja diocese, to cooperate in the mission entrusted to the clergy of witnessing to the Gospel in search for the lost sheep.
“Be missionary disciples who have the duty to renew the church in the next 50 years as Pope Francis says- ‘to go out of the comfort zones to bring back the lost sheep,” he told the congregation.
The Apostolic Pronuncio also counseled Christians in Jinja Diocese to value Christian marriage to ensure that their families become truly domestic churches.
Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga of Kampala Archdiocese urged Christians to cherish unity and also promote peace right from their homes to the diocesan level as well as the truth.
“You find lies everywhere even at home. A husband tells the wife lies and vice-versa even children telling lies. Tell the truth and the truth will set you free,” he counseled