VATICAN – Pope Francis has mourned the passing of the retired Archbishop of Tororo Archdiocese, James Odongo.
Archbishop Odongo, 89, who was the first Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tororo died on Friday morning at Nsambya Hospital in Kampala. He has also been the only living representative of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa at the Second Vatican Council in Rome which was held between the years 1962 and 1965.
In his message delivered during a Requiem Mass at Rubaga Cathedral by the Papal Nuncio Luigi Bianco, the Pope sent condolences to the clergy and the current Archbishop of Tororo Archdiocese Emmanuel Obbo.
He applauded the late Odongo for his long service in priesthood and episcopal ministry in Uganda.
The main celebrant in the Requiem Mass was the Chairperson of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, Bishop Joseph Antony Zziwa, who is the Bishop of Kiyinda Mityana Diocese.
“We pay special tribute to the late Odongo for the growth and development of the Church since the Second Vatican Council which he attended personally,” Zziwa said recounting how the late Odongo was very instrumental and committed to implement of the Council document.
He added that the late Odongo gave his total devotion for the unity and orthodoxy of the Catholic Church describing him as a true shepherd of the flock of Christ.
In the sermon, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Kampala, Cyprian Kizito Lwanga eulogized the deceased for playing a big role in the foundation of Centenary Bank and ensuring that its headquarters are built on Kampala Road.
Archbishop Lwanga told the congregation that they have a cause to rejoice and thank God for retired Archbishop Odongo’s success story.
“I wish to register thanks to God for the gift of life he gave Archbishop Odongo and chose him to serve in his vineyard. He struggled to help people fight poverty, promoted communion, cared for people and has indeed been a good shepherd,” said Kizito Lwanga.
Sarah Opendi, the State Minister of Mineral Development represented government at the Requiem Mass saying that the late Odongo had served the country with distinction through his contribution to Education, Health and other social services.
According to the issued program, the body of the late Odongo will on Monday 7th December arrive at St. Austin Catholic Church – Mbale at 3:30pm and the church will hold a requiem Mass on Tuesday 8th at 12:00pm. On the same day, The body of the Late Archbishop Odongo will arrive at Uganda Martyrs Cathedral – Tororo, at 4:00pm.
On Wednesday, 9th December, Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Uganda Martyrs Cathedral – Tororo, at 11:00pm followed by interment or burial.