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Preparations Begin for Uganda Martyrs’ Day 2017

Vatican Radio || By Jucinta W. Odongo || New Contact Publication || 10 November 2016

preparations for uganda martyrs 2017An organising committee for the next Uganda Martyrs Day on 3 June, 2017 has been appointed by Bishop Vincent Kirabo of Hoima, the Diocese that will lead the celebrations.

The annual day commemorates the heroic faith of the 45 Martyrs Catholic and Anglican who were burnt to death on the orders of the then king of Buganda between 1885 and 1887. The twenty-two Catholic Martyrs among them were beatified on 6 June, 1920 by Pope Benedict XV. They were declared saints on 18 October 1964 by Pope Paul VI.

Below is an article by Jacinta W. Odongo from the New Contact, a publication of the Uganda Episcopla Conference.

Bishop of Hoima appoints committees to spearhead the 2017 Martyrs Day celebration

With exactly seven months to the 2017 Uganda Martyrs day celebrations, Rt. Rev. Vincent Kirabo, the Bishop of Hoima Diocese has appointed an organizing committee at Diocesan level to spearhead the June 3 celebration which will be held at Namugongo Catholic Shrine.

Bishop Kirabo, who was installed in February this year in a colorful celebration, commissioned nine organizing committees and leaders on Friday October 14, 2016 in Hoima Diocese. The diocese of

Hoima will animate the 2017 Uganda Martyrs celebration on behalf of Mbarara Ecclesiastical province.

The nine organizing committees which have been allocated tasks include Liturgy, Security and Ushering, Finance, Publicity, Research and Documentation, Pilgrims, Transport and Accommodation, Catering and Welfare, Health, Decoration, beautifiation and sanitation.

The bishop appointed Msgr. Matthias Nyakatura as the overall overseer of all the nine committees, Rev. Fr. Robert Mugisa, who is the Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator, as the Overall Coordinator and Dr. Emmanuel Kiiza Aliba, the Executive Secretary of the Justice and Peace Department of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, as the chairperson.

Dr. Aliba said that the newly set up committees plan to handle the preparations of the 2017 Martyrs celebration in the most effective and efficient way.

“This isn’t our first time to lead the Martyrs day celebration. From our past experience, we did a good job and we believe we can handle this even much better,” he said adding that they sent a team of 10 people to Kiyinda-Mityana Diocese to study how they conducted their preparations for the 2016 celebration so as to borrow a leaf.

He noted that the preparations and actual celebrations have been estimated to a budget of at least shs500m. “During our first meeting we decided that all the work of fundraising should be done in three vicariates of the diocese which includes Hoima, Kibale and Masindi,” he explained.

He added, “Our system of fundraising is going to be very simple. We have over 800,000 Catholic faithful in our diocese and we plan to ask each Christian to contribute only shs1000.We also plan to involve school children whereby each child will be asked to bring an egg. We believe this plan is going to work out because each vicariate will involve all their parishes.”

The committees will be holding their meetings every third Friday of the month.

The Diocese of Hoima last presided over the Martyrs Day celebrations in 2001. The annual celebration commemorates the heroic faith of the 45 Martyrs, both Catholic and Anglican, who were burnt to death on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga II, the then king of Buganda between 1885 and 1887. Twenty two Catholic Martyrs were beatified on June 6, 1920, by Pope Benedict XV, and on October 18 1964, Pope Paul VI canonized them as Saints.

Of the 22 Martyrs who were canonized, two of them, St. Andrew Kaggwa and St. Anatoli Kiriggwajjo came from Hoima Diocese. In addition to the 22 Catholic Martyrs, there are two Catechists from Paimol: Blessed Daudi Okelo and Blessed Jildo Irwa who were killed in 1918.

The two Catechists were beatified by St. Pope John Paul II on October 20, 2002.

Source: Vatican Radio…

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