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Pope Francis knights eight Ugandans

Theresa Mbire is one of the eight honoured with the Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Sylvester Pope and Martyr

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT  |  Kampala archdiocese has announced the conferment of papal knighthood awards to eight churchgoers for their distinguished service to the Catholic Church and its mission apostolates.   

Rev. Fr. Dr Pius Male Ssentumbwe, Kampala archdiocesan chancellor, says the eight including three gentleladies and five gentlemen have been honoured with the Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Sylvester Pope and Martyr.  

Instituted by Pope Gregory XVI on October 31, 1841, the award commonly referred to as Sylvestrine Order or the Pontifical Order of Pope Saint Sylvester is one of five orders of knighthood awarded directly by the Pope as the supreme pontiff and head of the Catholic Church.   

The new papal knights and dames include; Theresa Mbire, the senior advisor to the President representing the Laity Catholics, who has over years been fighting for financial liberation of both Catholic and non-Catholic women, and Immaculate Mary Nansubuga who served the church as a leader for years.   

Others are; Emmanuel Katongole, the Executive chairman of Cipla Quality Chemical Industries, Mr and Mrs Joseph Yiga, Chairperson and Managing Director steel and tube, Professor Peter Kasenene, Theology, and religious studies educator, Anthony Matega, the National Vice Chairperson of Laity, and Dr Stanislaus Kasozi Mulindwa, the Director Programs and Students Affairs at Uganda Management Institute.   

Rev. Fr. Dr Ssentumbwe, says names and of the candidates were fronted by the Kampala Archbishop inviting the Holy See to recognize and reward them for their activeness in the apostolate in the exercise of their professional duties and mastership in the arts.  

The eight join three others who were knighted in the same order years ago. They include former Deputy Chief Justice Laetitia Eulalia Mary Mukasa-Kikonyogo, Tofili Male’okweza, the Former Kyadondo County Chief, and Joseph Wiliam Kiwanuka of Statewide Insurance Company.  

Although knights and dames do not have any specific obligations attache to the personal honour of membership in an Order, the honour comes with several privileges in the Catholic Church.   

For instance, Rev. Fr. Dr Ssentumbwe says that knights in this order add a suffix on their names and also have a special vestment; they are given special seats near the ordinary of the Diocese during mass and also keep close to the pontiff if they happen to visit Rome or during a papal visit.   

The Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga says the new knights and dames will be vested and inaugurated into the order on Easter Sunday this year.

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