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Kitabi Catholic Parish to mark 100 years

Rev. Fr. Robert Kakuru (Parish Priest, Kitabi Catholic Parish), His Grace Paul K. Bakyenga, the Archbishop of Mbarara and Mr Basil Kandyomunda a member of the organising committee at the press conference(PHOTO/PML Daily)

MBARARA – Kitabi Catholic Parish, in Mbarara Archdiocese will on June 29 mark 100 years of its founding.
The Archbishop of Mbarara, His Grace Paul K. Bakyenga said during a press conference on Friday, May 17, in Mbarara that President Museveni will be the Chief Guest during the celebrations at Kitabi, in Bushenyi and asked all brethren to thank God for such a milestone.

“I, together with our brothers and sisters, of St. Peter, Kitabi Catholic Parish, would like to invite our brethren from the greater Mbarara Archdiocese, the whole of Uganda and the world, to join us, as we mark and celebrate 100 years (Centenary) since the founding of our  parish, on 2nd October 1919,” Archbishop Bakyenga said.

The celebrations shall take place on 29th June 2019, at Kitabi Parish, Bushenyi District and will be
presided over by the Archbishop, assisted by the Clergy from the Archdiocese and other invited men of God from all over the world.

President Yoweri K. Museveni has accepted and confirmed to be the Chief Guest, Archbishop Bakyenga said on Friday.

In attendance will also be several religious and government dignitaries and the laity from the parish and Mbarara Archdiocese.

According to Mr Basil Kandyomunda, the head of the Publicity Committee, “including the Centennial celebrations, the event is a 5 in 1 occasion that shall also include:  Commissioning of the newly renovated 2000- seater church; Archbishop Paul K. Bakyenga’s 30th Episcopal and 75th Birthday celebration”.

Mr Kandyomunda says the Archbishop will also use the Celebration to preside over ordination of 3 deacons to priesthood — two of these from Kitabi Parish and the third, a Missionary of Africa candidate from Butare Parish, Buhweju; and the parish will also officially unveil the construction plans of the proposed Spiritual Retreat and Conference Centre, which besides serving as a retreat centre, shall also offer conference, meeting and
boarding services to the public as a means to generate revenue to sustain parish work.

The theme of the event is: “You are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church” (Mathew
16:18). The Celebrations will start at 10:00 a.m. beginning with a Holy Mass and thereafter speeches and entertainment.

About Kitabi Parish:

The rock upon which Jesus has built his salvation for the last 100 years Kitabi Catholic Parish was established in October 1919 by the White Fathers Missionaries (now known as Missionaries of Africa). It is the fourth oldest Parish in the Diocese of Mbarara after  Nyamitanga (1902), Rugazi (1909) and Ibanda (1912).

It was officially inaugurated on the 2nd October 1919 during a Holy Mass presided over by the first parish priest, Rev. Fr. Edward Lafleur, from Canada.

At its founding, it covered the present-day districts of Mitooma, Bushenyi, Sheema, and some parts of Ntungamo, Rukungiri, and Rubanda districts.  Kitabi Parish has since given ‘birth’ to many new parishes, some of which include: Kagamba, Mushanga, Bubangizi, Nyakishojwa, Kashekuro, Kyamuhunga, St. Kagwa – Bushenyi, Mutara, Buhimba, Bitooma, Kigarama and many others.

Today, Kitabi Parish is made of 16 Centres and 32 Hiikas and covers parts of Mitooma, Sheema and Bushenyi districts.

It has a population of 32,917 baptised Catholics.

In its lifetime, there have been 645,719 baptisms, 25,705 confirmations and 10,522 marriages,  conducted and recorded at the parish.

The present-day parish has also produced 19 priests and 59 nuns. The first ever priest to be ordained from Kitabi Parish was Rev Fr. Cyril Mbura, who was ordained on 17th July, 1951.

During its lifetime and with the support of the Diocese and other well-wishers, the church in  Kitabi has been instrumental in not only the spiritual nourishment of its parishioners but has also played a great role in the education of the children of the nation (both Catholics and non- Catholics) through establishing and hosting a number of educational institutions, that among others include: St. Francis Xavier Seminary, Kitabi, St Cecilia Girl’s Vocational School, Kitabi Demonstration School and St Charles Lwanga Senior Secondary School.

These institutions have produced great women and men that have gone on to serve Uganda in different religious, government and private sector vocations.

It is these key milestones and foundations on which the parish stands, that make the 100 years,
worth celebrating.

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