17th April 2019 was chrism mass for the diocese Jinja. It is an event that is central to the catholic faith. It is a day of oils and therefore refreshment of sacraments of the sick, baptism, confirmation and holy orders in terms of the priesthood. Its more so a day of the priesthood and the institution of the sacrament of the Eucharist. When the priests of the diocese of Jinja renewed their promises to the bishop of the diocese of Jinja.
On this very day, the day of the priests, the laity gave gifts to all priests around and absent to show their appreciation to their priests as they serve them in their lovely catholic faith. Later on they were hosted to a luncheon at the cathedral parish hall, they were joined by the Christians for the meal.
On this occasion, a Lusoga missal was launch was launched and those behind its formation, headed by the liturgical commission, translation committee and the cultural research center. Among the main characters on this noble duty was Fr Fred Kyuka (translator), Fr Richard Kayaga(chief editor and translator), Fr Sofronius Sajabbi (in-charge of corrections-omwiruuzi), Fr Mbiro, Msgr. Christopher Isiko, Fr Joseph Mpala Ngulu, Sr Rose Agnes Dhabikoba, Fr Emmanuel Kawanguzi and a host of lay people that happened to be absent that is Chris Kunya, Mr Wansolo and others.
Due to sleeping sickness in bukaleba it was delayed till 1999. Deans and liturgical commission also did a big part in the final proofreading of the missale in lusoga. This was presented to the bishop by Fr Mukwaya JB.
Among the most amazing things of the inauguration speech of Fr Richard Kayaga was the first version of the Lusoga translation for 1894 by church missionary society and by 1899, the gospel of John. Things stalled then only to relaunch and the next new testament was launched in 1999 in May, and then the full bible was launched. In 1955, a few Basoga launched the Lusoga newsletter called “KODHEEYO” to uplift the Lusoga language and didn’t take long either. Later in 1997 “NDIMUGEZI” was launched to enhance the Lusoga language too. 1966 a committee was instituted to develop the Lusoga language.
Bishop launched using Lusoga to launch the missal but warned this is being used on trial to try and fulfil the details of Rome on liturgical books with time. He congratulated the Christians on stopping to use the leaflets. So it will be used on trial level (okugeseza). He thus authorized the use of the missal as the await the final approved missal by Rome.
Bishop Charles Martin Wamika also read the deanery that was to organize the next year’s chrism mass which will be schools in Iganga deanery. He also notified that he had signed the letters for the deacons to be ordained priests at Namirali parish that is to be opened on 18th May 2019.
Mr Paul Baliraine thanked the Bishop for the stewardship of the diocese, the new parishes already opened and yet to be opened (Namirali) and as a laity of the diocese, gave gifts to all the priests present and absent for the good work as a sacrament to them, just as a sign of appreciation to them for the work they always do for the Christians of the diocese of Jinja. The deaneries that prepared different items and the liturgy by the children of some schools from Namunyumya that sung at the occasion.
Fr Paul Okello Wandera, the chairperson of the priests in the diocese of Jinja thanked the bishop for the good work and acceptance and support for the priests of the diocese of Jinja. And called for prayer for all priests and religious in what he called an age of anonymous letters that try to threaten others in service. He called for renewal and reconciliation during this Easter season and wished all a nice Easter.
GONZAGA GONZA GROUP (GGG) SEMINARIANS GET TOGETHER 2019
On the 10th to 13th of January. All the Diocesan seminarians of Jinja Diocese gathered for their annual get-together in Buluba Hospital Parish. It has been the practice of the seminarians since time memorial to gather once in a year to advise and encourage each other, to compare notes and to strengthen the fraternal bond that must exist between them as future coworkers in the Lord’s vineyard. All seminarians gathered where 48 (one did not attend since he is out of the country for Theological Studies). Together with those were 16 aspirants to the major seminary.
As part of our annual package, in his talk on Friday morning, the Bishop, His Lordship Charles Martin Wamika encouraged us to strengthen our bonds with our families and learn to accept who they are and to help resolve any discrepancies that exist in the families. It does not solve anything to run away from our family problems but on the other hand, it means a lot to hail from good and respectable families. He reminded us about the family tree – a theme he well expounded to us with the assistance of Fr. Benedict Wakabi last year. Each of us has a history that either directly or indirectly affects us. Therefore, we need to pray for blessings for our family tree and pray against curses and misfortunes that may befall us because of our families. He gave an example of someone hailing from a family of thieves. People always look at them as thieves regardless of the good ones. Furthermore, he moved along with Fr. Godfrey Kibumba, the Diocesan Financial Administrator who reechoed to us the Bishop’s appeal in as far as financial administration in ecclesiastical institutions and personal finances are concerned. Financial discipline is very important in any institutional (ecclesiastical) administration. “The parish finances are not for priests in Church but for the people so we (they) must always account for them,” he said. He also noted with concern that many priests have challenges in the ministry because of finances. “We as seminarians should learn and practice financial records. Each of us must keep records of one’s incomes and expenditures”, he said. “One of the challenges some parish administrators face,” he retorted, “is because they record incomes but neglect expenditures.” The two go hand in hand. To aid us in that, he taught us the use of ledgers in accounts as the easiest means to record one’s finances. To make it a habit, he advised us to begin now with our finances so that it will be easier to account for parish finances in future. Accounting is part and parcel of the Church”, he said, “So whoever is against accounts in the Church is against the Church.” As priests in making, we must feel with the Church, we must strive to develop the institution and use the resources to attain our needs and develop the parishes.
We then had our picnic at Doctina Beach (Buluba) on Saturday 12th. A number of priests joined us. They further encouraged us to feel well founded and true to our calling and trust God. There was a good luncheon and a lot of fun. On Sunday 13th, we animated Mass at Buluba Parish (We sang at Mass, served and the deacon preached.) We used that opportunity also to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life given the fact that Buluba has just a handful of vocations and no major seminarian. Many came up and promised to join in the noble vocations, parents promised their support and the celebrant and the deacons blessed the aspirants. We gave them words of encouragement after Mass. May God continue watering his call in them. There was also a football encounter against the youth of Buluba Parish. It ended 4-4 and the seminarians visited the hospital and had very nice inspiring and hope giving chats with the sick at the hospital wards. We left many smiling faces on the sick, desperate and needy and learnt not to call lepers “bagenge” but “elders”.
We thank all who contributed generously towards the gathering: the Diocese, the parishes and the priest’s fraternity and all people of good will. May God bless you all.
Rev. Owori Silver Osuna
C/P, Gonzaga Gonza Group (GGG).
THEME: LET THEM BE ONE JOHN 17:1-11
The day was colored by a huge attendance by catechists and their wives and husbands from all over the diocese from different parishes in Busoga sub region.
Holy mass which began at 10:30 AM was presided over by the Vicar general of the diocese of Jinja, MSGR Stephen Mudoola with over 10 concelebrating priests present.
A total of seven (7) couples wedded on the occasion among whom were catechists answering one of the obligations of being a catechist: You need to be wedded in Church or receiving sacraments among other aspects.
The readings of the day were from: Ezekiel 2:1-9, Ephesians 5:21-6:4 and John 17:1-11.
The celebrants were given a direction of God’s call, faith, Love and Unity. God calls us with the intention of bringing together the weak and strong and forms us to what he wants us to be but does not consider our righteousness, this makes the beauty of the church. And in the journey to meet God faith is fundamental. And unity is strength so we presupposed for cooperation because success can only be achieved through working together. In lack of Unity we collapse. Some of the negativities that causes lack of unity, among others are the following: division, hatred, envy, jealousy, segregation, discrimination, lack of dialogue, rumor-mongering, plotting, etc.
Due to funny backgrounds of our calls we need prayer for ourselves always to be good servants. Unity doesn’t reflect being same but only calls for collective responsibility, cooperation, objectivity, direction and many other qualities.
God calls us to be light for others, as we light we wear out by burning and this attracts so many dirty things on us for example wax candle which in the process of burning attracts many insects which get stuck on it and it will not look good as before. This reminds us that in the apostolate we start strong like a candle but later we become weakened and even lose hope. This calls for serious prayer, insisting on personal prayer and later you join in congregation and church prayer. The Christians were reminded to Love one another.
The wedded couples were asked to respond to the two main issues: wives to submit to the husbands; Husbands to love their wives.
Among the achievements of the catechists are: training of catechists, the celebration of the day of catechists at diocesan level, improved relationship with priests and fellow catechists and then with Christians.
Also these have come along with lack of retreats and lack of pension for the retired catechists as challenges.
From correspondent Patrick Owori