MASAKA – Hundreds of mourners descended on Bukalasa Minor Seminary in Kalungu District on Saturday for the burial of Bishop Emeritus of Masaka Diocese Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa.
Bishop Kaggwa, 77, died on Wednesday at Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala after contracting Covid-19.
During the requiem mass held at Bukalasa Minor Seminary, many friends, relatives, nuns and priests struggled to hold off tears for the deceased.
The chairperson of Uganda Episcopal Conference, Bishop Joseph Antony Zziwa, who led the mass, hailed Kaggwa as a very humble servant of God who was prayerful.
He narrated how the deceased could drive a truck and go to Masaka to get matooke and firewood for the seminarians while still serving as rector of Ggaba National Major Seminary in Kampala.
“Bishop Kaggwa has assiduously served the Church with love. He has trained many priests, opened up many parishes in Masaka Diocese and built many schools which have contributed to the development of this area,” he said.
Masaka Diocese Bishop Serverus Jjumba also his predecessor was highly devoted to his priestly vocation
“He had those virtues and values which are good for others to emulate; a very organised person who was dedicated to serve the Lord. He acted as a parent to us and his words have made us grow spiritually and intellectually,” he said.
Buganda Kingdom Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga, who read Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II’ condolence message, said the deceased has been a strong pillar in the development of Buganda Kingdom.
“You all remember the contribution Bishop Kaggwa made to have CBS Radio back on air and we shall always remember him for that and many other good things he did for humanity,” he said.
Kalungu West Joseph Ssewungu criticised Ministers Vincent Ssempijja (Agriculture), Ms Esther Mbayo (Presidency) for blaming the ruling NRM dismal performance in Buganda region in the recent presidential and parliamentary election on the Catholic Church .
“The Church was giving those ministers a platform to ask for votes, why are they blaming their loss on the Church? Let them [ministers] go slow on the Church, it is not an institution to play with,” he warned.
Bishop Kaggwa was buried at Bukalasa Seminary cemetery. He was ordained a priest in Rome on December 12, 1971, at the age of 28. After his doctorate studies, he was appointed vice rector of the Pontifical College of St Paul in Rome.
He returned to Uganda five years later and immediately got appointed rector of the prestigious St Mary’s National Seminary Ggaba. Bishop Kaggwa was appointed coadjutor Bishop of Masaka in December 1994, and consecrated on June 24, 1995.
He succeeded Bishop Ddungu on January 10, 1998 and retired in 2019