The Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Nebbi in Uganda who was laid to rest on Aug.17 is being remembered for his love for nature and evangelisation through the protection of the environment.
OBITUARY | AGNES AINEAH | In his tribute to Bishop Martin Luluga at his Funeral Mass, Bishop Raphael p’Mony Wokorach of the Diocese of Nebbi said the late Catholic Church leader had implemented a variety of projects to protect the environment, starting from his own residence.
“Bishop Luluga loved nature. All the trees here in this residence are Martin’s work. We thank you Bishop Martin Luluga for going ahead of us in promoting green evangelization,” Bishop Wokorach said about the Catholic Church leader who started his Episcopal Ministry in January 1987 as Auxiliary Bishop of Uganda’s Gulu Archdiocese.
He added, “Bishop Martin Luluga was a friend of the Franciscans. He invited them in this Diocese and started with them a program to promote the spirituality of the environment and farming. This has been a remarkable gift to the Diocese.”
Bishop Luluga who died July 30 aged 89 was born on March 01, 1933 at Lodonga Parish in the present Yumbe District under the Catholic Diocese of Arua in Uganda.
He was ordained Priest on June 01, 1963. The late Catholic Church leader who was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Gulu on January 11, 1987 was appointed the Local Ordinary of the same Ugandan Episcopal See in February 1990.
Nine years later, he was transferred to Nebbi Diocese where he served for 12 years till his retirement in February 2011.
In his tribute, Bishop Wokorach described the late Bishop Luluga who served as the second Local Ordinary of Gulu before he was transferred to Nebbi Diocese as “a father to many.”
The Local ordinary of Nebbi paid homage to the late Bishop who he said had mentored him and ordained him a Catholic Priest.
“The Bishop Emeritus has been a father to me and many in this Diocese. He tirelessly gave his life for his Diocese,” Bishop Wokorach said.
The Ugandan-born member of the Comboni Missionaries (MCCJ) added, “I personally owe Bishop Emeritus Martin a special consideration. He sent me to the minor seminary for care and he also ordained me a Priest. Looking at all Priests here makes me recall that Bishop Emeritus touched the lives of many.”
“Today we accompany him and honor the good work he did all this time as a minister of the Church. His works are a testimony of his life,” the Bishop of Nebbi said.
There was also outpouring testimonies of Bishop Luluga’s humility, approachability, punctuality and simplicity. Many also remembered a Bishop who let his good actions speak for him.
“He would rarely speak a lot about himself, but when you see the work he did, there are many who speak a lot about him. He was a man of keen attention; he would read one’s mind,” Bishop Wokorach who was ordained Bishop of Nebbi in August last year said.
And in his glowing tribute, the President of the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC) remembered “a man who let silence speak”.
Bishop Joseph Anthony Zziwa explained, “We would discuss many things with him sitting attentively and he would say nothing at all. He was quiet but very sober in his thoughts and he would give valuable advice on many things when he was approached.”
The Local Ordinary of Kiyinda-Mityana recalled that the late Bishop’s presence was felt among his peers, even after exiting active administrative work.
“When he retired as Catholic Bishop of Nebbi, he continued his work as a shepherd and continued attending our meetings as the Catholic Bishops of Uganda. I remember as a President of the Bishops, he missed only once and it was for health reasons,” Bishop Zziwa said.
He added, “We have seen Bishop Luluga as a great formator, not only for future priests, but in different areas of lives. He has been a good administrator, but above all, a great Shepherd. He is a man who has been very patient and enduring.”
Bishop Zziwa further stressed the late Bishop’s care for the environment, saying, “We thank Bishop Luluga for his love of nature. As you look around this place, you can easily observe that he repaired what was broken in nature.”