GULU – Archbishop John Baptist Odama, of Gulu has hailed the relationship between the laity of Mbarara Catholic Archdiocese and that of his Gulu, saying it was the strongest demonstration of what all must do for humanity.
“We are all brothers and sisters,” he said.
“In fact, we should not be calling you visitors when you come here, let alone all you being catholic,” the Archbishop, also the immediate past President of the Uganda Episcopal Conference said on Sunday, October 20, 2019; at the conclusion of a 2-day visit by the laity of Mbarara Archdiocese to Gulu. The Mbarara laity visited under the umbrella organisation — AMDA (Archdiocese of Mbarara Development Association). The visit was okayed by the Archbishop of Mbarara Paul K. Bakyenga.
The visit, that coincided with the celebration of the martyrdom of the Acholi Martyrs — the Blessed Daudi Okelo and Jildo Irwa, also involved several activities over the two days, including empowerment talks between the different special interest groups — Youth, Women, Men, the lay apostolate and concluded with sports competitions on the first day.
On Sunday, Archbishop Odama led a solemn mass at the St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Gulu as the two laity communities cemented their friendship. Leader of opposition in Parliament Rt. Hon. Betty Aol, among other dignitaries attended the mass and other earlier activities.
Mr. Gervase Ndyanabo, the president of the catholic laity in Uganda, also a member of AMDA remarked that this was a great day in the history of the laity activities in the catholic church in the country, seeing two brother and sister communities coming together to share and talk about development and the future of the church.
He thanked Archbishop Odama, for being a symbol of peace, not only in the country but in the world and for initiating Foster Parents initiative for young seminarians at Alokulum Major Seminary which is the strongest seed cementing laity and clergy relations all over Uganda so far.
“The relationship between AMDA and the laity of Gulu Archdiocese, therefore, is a great addition that cements that existing relationship so far because of the Foster parents programme,” Mr. Ndyanabo said.
Mr. Ojok Mathew Simon, the head of Laity of Gulu Archdiocese said the AMDA visit was instrumental in cement the role of family life in the integral development of the church and the role of the clergy in peacebuilding, economic, social and political development.
AMDA Chairman Dr. Gaston Ampe hailed the relationship between the two Christian communities and promised all will be ensured to sustain it for development.
In the climax of Saturday’s spiets events, Gulu drew the first blood, winning the volleyball contest 2:0; in netball, the two teams drew; while AMDA had the last laugh, winning the football game, 3:1, in a match that was closely contested but the scores read differently.