Parishioners and friends of Soroti Catholic Diocese gathered in Kampala, to raise funds for a Catholic Church named “Regina Caeli” or “Queen of Heaven”.
At the beginning of the function, Bibilical words from Exodus 35:5 were recited, setting the tone of the event. “Take from among you an offering to the Lord. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as an offering to the Lord”
Vice President, H.E Jessica Alupo, also woman MP-Katakwi District and a Parishioner of the Diocese graced the occasion as chief guest.
In her remarks, Alupo recognized and appreciated the efforts and gestures of all the people who support various church projects as a way of committing to the Lord.
Alupo congratulated Bishop Joseph Eciru Oliach of Soroti Catholic Diocese upon the key construction milestone saying Christians would continuously pray for his wisdom and health so that he would shephard the flock in strength.
She pledged Government’s renewed support to the church, saying church institutions compliment Government efforts in developing the country.
“We recognize the symbiotic relationship with the church because they are partners in development. As Government, we will continously work with all religious institutions and denominations, and continue to walk with you in this journey”, she remarked.
Alupo asked the parishioners to guard against corruption, a vice she said, hinders development.
She also urged them to renew their confidence in President Museveni who has served with visible and tangible results.
At the fundraising, two ceremonious teams; Team Alupo and Team Bishop were drawn, in a momentous auction for a portrait of Divine Mercy as part of the fundraising drive. UGX 25m was collected for the potrait; from the two teams.
The Vice President donated UGX 10m and pledged another UGX 20m. She also announced a pledge of UGX 5m from her Colleague-Gen Jeje Odong, who accompanied President Museveni to Vietnam.
Bishop Joseph Eciru Oliach of Soroti Catholic Diocese said he was optimistic about a “noble cause for which I am convinced, will be achieved in the Name of the Father,the Son and the Holy Spirit”.
Hon Okasaai, Minister of State for Energy also a Soroti Diocese Parishioner said the Cathedral would be a signature mark in Soroti, and promised to rally behind the Bishop in its honour and completion. He contributed UGX 5m to the cause.
Hon. Helen Grace Asamo, Minister of State for the disabled urged parishioners to look not at religious denominations, but see the bigger picture of development. She pledged UGX 5m to building of the Church.
James Ebitu, the chairperson of the organising committee said the Bishop promoted this fundraiser to have a befitting house of God in Soroti. He said the people had expressed faith in the Church accountability system and even before the fundraiser event of the night, people of different denominations and traders amongst had made several pledges.
The chairperson of the Catholic Diocese Laity Association-Godfrey Akiteng said the dinner was one of the many activities lined up to raise church funds.
The Vicar General-Soroti Catholic Diocese Msgr Robert Ecogu thanked the congregation for sowing hearts of love. He said the fundraiser was a sign of thanksgiving and prayed that God would continue to use the Vice President in fulfillment of the Lord’s work.
A short clip down the memory lane from the technical team indicates that the 4000 seater project is estimated to cost
USD2.4m. Construction works started in September this year.
At the end, UGX317m in cash and pledges was collected.
Present at the fundraiser were eminent sons and daughters of Teso, including Prof. Francis Omaswa-the Soroti University Chancellor, former PPS to the President -Mary Amajo, Justice Mary Maitum, among others.