Moyo Centenary ground was the place where six Priests and one Deacon made their vows on 27thJuly 2018 in Moyo District. Many people travelled long distances (western Uganda, Kampala, Arua) to support their loved ones and friends. The officiating Bishop His Rt. Rev. Sabino Ocan Odoki, Bishop of Arua Diocese congratulated them upon finishing strong.
The ordained Ministers included Rev. Fr. Francis Xavier Ukuni – Moyo Parish, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Drici – Moyo Parish, Rev. Fr. William Andims – Micu Parish, Rev. Fr. Edward Eguma – Mingoro Parish, Rev. Fr. Pius Anyaja (MCCJ) – Moyo Parish, Rev. Fr. James Siriba Ayoma – koboko Parish, Deacon Moses Owole Obulejo – Pakele Parish
In his speech, Bishop Sabino thanked the choir and the Organising Committee for the good work. While presenting the newly ordained ministers, he stressed that Arua Diocese is a Missionary diocese. He went ahead and begged parents to give their children to become missionaries. “Parents should talk to their children, that if God is calling them, they should listen. The signs are very clear that Arua can be a missionary diocese because we have almost 200 priests and not only that, we have many of our sons and daughters in many other religious congregations all over the world,” he pointed out.
The Bishop thereafter gave certificates to the six Priests and for the Deacon, prayer books with the promise to pray for the church everyday. “A Deacon cannot say that he has nothing to do, what about these prayers” said the Bishop. He continued that while in Rome last June, he knew he was to ordain these ministers of the Pope so he did some shopping and bought a Rosary, blessed by the Holy Father Pope Francis, then for the Priests, the Crucifix, an important symbol that he shares with all the priests he ordains which is a sign of love as Jesus said, love each other as I have loved you. “He loved us totally to the extent of dying on the cross so, I always give the crucifix to the newly ordained to remind them especially when things are hard that this is part of the journey we have been commissioned for and remember no cross, no victory, is there any victory without the cross? No, so, this cross I am giving you is to remind you that you are already favoured for victory and to reach that victory, you have the cross,” he re-echoed.
He emphasized that this is a great sign of love that comes with responsibility. He gave appointment letters that indicate immediate responsibilities. He however said that the ministers are given a grace period of one month to celebrate with those communities that contributed to their formation to thank them for their support. After a month, Bishop Sabino promised to visit the ministers at their stations of work. After giving the newly ordained their appointments, he also transferred some priests, one for study leave and one for sick leave. And to the newly ordained, he asked for blessings before they go on to bless others.
Bishop Sabino then invited the Provincial Superior of the Comboni Missionaries to greet the congregation. While addressing the congregation, the Provincial Superior noted that these Priests and Deacon reminded him of the Bishop, from North of France who visited the seminary when he was still studying theology. The Bishop told the seminarians that they had not ordained a Priest for six years and that for six years, they had not received a single priest. He confessed that there are so many parts of the world that do not have what we have here. He advised us always to be grateful to God for the priests, Deacons, the religious and many vocations we have here.
The Provincial Superior noted that the event had brought together a big number of Comboni missionaries and added that it was the first time in the history of the province of Uganda that many combonis gathered together for an ordination. “Around here, there are 35 to 50 comboni missionaries; Father John Baptist Opargiw, General Secretary of Formation and representing the General Council on this occasion, Vice Provincial Superior for Egypt and Sudan, Vice Provincial Superior of S.Sudan, Fr. Christian Carlassare, Representative from the Province of South Africa, representatives from the Province of Mozambique, two missionary representatives from the Province of Malawi and Zambia also two missionaries, missionaries from S.Sudan, the Province of Kenya was also represented and lastly the Province of Uganda,” he revealed. At the occasion, there were Priests, Brothers and Lay Comboni missionaries working in Uganda, also present were the Comboni Sisters and friends of the Comboni missionaries who graced the occasion.
“My Lord Bishop, we are very grateful to this Diocese, to our parents for the vocations we are still receiving from this diocese, you told me that you are giving me your child and we are really grateful but I must note that we are harvesting where we have sown. I encourage young people to respond to the call of God to become Priests, Religious men and women, catechists, people who are willing to do much for the glory of God and His kingdom,” he noted.
Last but not least, he called upon all to support Fr. Pius Anyaga materially and spiritually in his appointment to the Province of Egypt and Northern Sudan. He revealed that the wait for many more men and women to join the comboni Missionaries to accomplish the work of the Lord is still on.
The Moyo District Local Government Chairman introduced the Political heads who graced the occasion who included; Hon. Moriku Joyce, the Woman MP for Moyo District, also State Minister for Health-Primary Health Care, Hon. Alero Tom Aza and other district leaders.
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