The annual celebration was set aside in honour of the martyrdom of 45 young men who converted to Christianity between 1885 and 1887 to the annoyance of the then Kabaka Mwanga II of Buganda, who ordered that they are burnt to death.
Every year millions of pilgrims from within and outside Uganda visit Namugongo, the site where the majority of the converts were martyred, in celebration of their bravery, making the celebration a key event on the Church Calendar. The martyrs day pilgrimage has also been earmarked a key tourism event for Uganda.
Masaka Diocesan Bishop Rev. Msgr Severus Jjumba told a congregation at Rubaga Cathedral yesterday that the Church needs money to cater for activities during the entire week within which the June 3 Martyrs Day is marked. Masaka Diocese will lead the celebrations this year.
The money, he said, “will be used to pay for security for the whole week, utilities like water, electricity and other costs that must be met to make the day successful.” Last year, the Church budgeted for 900 million Shillings for the event.
The early announcement of the logistics requirement is intended to give Christians enough time to collect the money. Usually, corporate companies contribute part of this money in support for the Church.
Meanwhile, the Pope’s representative in Uganda Archbishop Luigi Bianco called on Ugandans to ensure peace at home, work, and in their country. Archbishop Bianco was leading the New Year mass at Rubaga Cathedral.
Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga reiterated the Papal Nuncio’s message calling on believers to be prayerful and peaceful in the New Year. He said the Christians should endeavour to support Church activities by giving a tenth of their earnings. He said currently many Christians give the lowest amount whenever asked to give to support Church work.