Masaka, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The rite to ordination into priesthood is one of the key ceremonies the Catholic Church performs with great sanctity as Christians welcome new clergy into the spiritual vocation. However, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has put in balance, the possibility of having this year’s priestly ordination for Masaka Catholic Diocese.
The Diocese was set to ordain a new set of 18 priests as well as graduating several other candidates to the various orders of priesthood in early august. But the Masaka diocesan Catholic Bishop Serverus Jjumba who by authority performs the ordination ceremony of the priests, says that he is not certain that diocese’s 107th priestly ordination ceremony will take place as planned.
The COVID-19 lockdown also came in when that diocese was planning to send and receive some priestly candidates on exchange academic programs to Rome, Italy. But their travels cannot be processed due to restrictions on flights.
Bishop Jjumba explains that ahead of the priestly ordination, the diocese had also planned to hold several other celebrations that include the priest’s retreat which was for this month, Celebrating the Episcopal Silver Jubilee of Bishop Emeritus John Baptist Kaggwa which is slated for June 24th this year among other events that are currently in suspense.
Masaka Diocese had also been chosen to lead the animation for the Uganda Martyrs Day celebration this year, an annual event which was called off by the Uganda Episcopal Conference last week.
But Bishop Jjumba has asked the Christians to accept the current situation of the lockdown that stopped them from congregating and turn it into an opportunity to reflect on their ways of life and reform from unbecoming practices that abuse the true significance of commemorating the Uganda Martyrs.
President Yoweri Museveni on May 4 extended the Covid-19 lockdown for another 14 days.