KAMPALA – The Catholic Diocese of Masaka has announced a plan to split this year’s Uganda Martyrs Day celebrations to give students and children an exclusive day to manage their own liturgical arrangements ahead of the D-day.
Bishop Serverus Jjumba, who will lead this year’s celebrations animated by Masaka Diocese, said on Thursday, February 27 that students and children will have their own exclusive mass on May 29, animated and managed by themselves.
“[The] 29th of May will be exclusively for the pupils and students in and outside the country,” the Bishop said.
“This is born out of the concern for the children in and out of school so as to give them a chance to participate fully and actively,” he added during a joint press conference he addressed with Bishop Joseph Antony Zziwa, the Chairman of the Uganda Catholic bishops.
Bishop Jjumba said Masaka was happy to pioneer the effort to dicongest the Martyrs Day celebrations, which have seen numbers surge, to an estimated 2 million pilgrims every year.
“Due to increased attendance on 3rd June, it was recognised that pupils and students hardly attended the event. The Uganda Episcopal Conference has always desired to decongest 3rd June. This could be one of the ways and Masaka is to pioneer it on the 29th of May. 3rd of June then would be for all adults as is normally the case,” the Bishop said.
Rev. Fr. George William Lubega, the Organizing Committee Chairperson notes that to ensure safety and better organisation of children from different parts of the country will be brought to the shrines by their schools.
“It is better to manage them in that way. They will be under the supervision of their teachers. Schools must therefore ensure that children are transported safely. We pray that all parents who want their children to attend take advantage of this new arrangement,” he said.