Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | More than 4,000 pilgrims from Tororo Archdiocese have already registered for this year’s foot pilgrimage to Namugongo, Tororo Archbishop Emmanuel Obbo has said.
Obbo said more foot pilgrims are expected to register for foot pilgrimage from the Archdiocese which will animate this year’s Martyr’s Day celebrations at Namugongo Martyrs Shrine on June 3.
Obbo said he will bless the foot pilgrims from Tororo on May 20. The pilgrims will start the journey on May 25, and they are expected to arrive at Namugongo on May 31. He was addressing journalists on the Martyr’s day preparations at Uganda Episcopal Conference secretariat, Nsambya today.
The annual pilgrimage attracts over two million people from all around the world in honour of the martyrdom of 45 young men who converted to Christianity between 1885 and 1887, to the annoyance of the then King of Buganda, Mwanga II. The young converts were burnt to death after they refused to denounce Christianity.
They included 22 Catholics who were beatified on June 6, 1920, by Pope Benedict XV and later canonized and elevated to sainthood on October 18, 1964, by Pope Paul VI. The commemoration of the day is supposed to give inspiration and enhance Christian belief.
Uganda Episcopal Conference Secretary-General, Msgr. John Baptist Kauta said over 1000 foreign pilgrims from Malawi, Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria have indicated that they will be coming to Uganda for the celebration.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church requires 720 million Shillings to organize the event. of this, 390 million Shillings has been collected leaving a balance of 330 million Shillings. In order to meet the target, the day’s fundraising committee is organisation a fundraising dinner on May 17 at Hotel Africana, in Kampala. Each dinner card costs Uganda shilling 150,000 and a table of 10 people cost 2 million Shillings.
The archdiocese is receiving contributions through Centenary Bank Tororo branch, account number 3100049368 and through mobile money on number 0755420408 both in the name of Archdiocese of Tororo Martyrs Day Celebrations, as Obbo explains.
This year’s Martyrs Day is themed: let us walk in the light of God as a family. “This theme ultimately focuses on the family, also referred to as the domestic church. It’s the smallest unit of the human society in which the faith of everyone is implanted and in which it grows,” Archbishop Obbo said while explaining the relevancy of the theme.