Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Catholic Bishops have chosen Jinja diocese to organize and animate the 2023 Martyrs day celebrations at the Namugongo Martyrs shrines.
The decision, which was made in a rare ‘special’ broadcast on Uganda Episcopal Conference-owned Radio Sapientia, is one of the Bishops’ resolutions from their annual plenary held at St. Augustine’s Institute Nsambya from June 6 to 10th, 2022.
Rt. Rev Joseph Antony Zziwa, the UEC chairperson stated that, as is accustomed, the plenary chose the Ecclesiastical Province (this time they selected Tororo Ecclesiastical Province), which was then allowed to choose the diocese that would lead the celebrated festival that draws thousands of people from inside and beyond Uganda.
Bishop Zziwa, who is also the ordinary of Kiyinda-Mityana Diocese, stated that the bishops of Tororo Ecclesiastical Province unanimously picked Jinja to head the celebrations next year.
Within the province, Tororo Archdiocese had animated Martyrs day celebrations in 2018, Kotido diocese in 2014, Moroto diocese in 2010 while both Soroti and Jinja have taken long without leading the celebrations.
Jinja diocese was created in 1966, being cut off from the former Diocese of Kampala (which was under the mill hill fathers) and the See of the latter being transferred to Jinja. The diocese also has a special attachment to the Uganda Martyrs given the fact that some of the new converts who were killed like Gonzaga Gonza and Matia Mulumba Kalemba were Basoga.
Fort Portal Catholic Diocese led this year’s celebrations where thousands of faithful from all walks of life paid homage to Martyrs most of whom were burnt to death on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga II, between 1885 and 1887 for refusing to denounce their faith.
Meanwhile, the bishops shared the situation of the Catholic Church in Uganda and its institutions, which were formed for evangelization across the nation, and heard reports from other institutions linked with the Catholic Church in Uganda during the plenary.
The Uganda Episcopal Conference is the Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy in Uganda that is constituted with the approval of the Holy See. Bishops use the Uganda Episcopal Conference to express their collegial responsibility through collective action and ensure the progress of the Church and coordination of its social and pastoral ministry.