National
Arua diocese marks 100 years
Publish Date: Dec 16, 2012
newvision
  • mail
  • img

By Richard Drasimaku and Benedict Okethwengu

On December 17, 1910, three White missionaries arrived at Pakuba on the shores of Lake Albert, near Pakwach town in present day Nebbi district. This was after a long journey through Sudan. The area was inhabited by the Jonam, a little-known fish-loving tribe.

Curious, the locals ran to their chief, Rwoth Omach, grandfather of finance state minister Fred Jachan-Omach, who then received the White men; Bishop Xavier Geyer, Fr Albino and Brother Augustus.

Here, they encountered various problems such as unclean water, poor shelter, mosquitoes, malaria, heat, wild animal threats, lack of medicines and food shortage. It was from Pakwach that the missionaries, belonging to the Comboni congregation, moved to Gulu the following year in 1911 and then Arua in 1912. Today, Arua Diocese is celebrating 100 years since the Catholic faith was introduced into the area.

The main celebrations will take place at the Holy Cross Pilgrimage Centre Indriani in Pakele parish, 22km east of Adjumani town, where the first group of missionaries pitched camp in 1912. For long the entire West Nile was under Gulu diocese, until Arua diocese was created on June 23, 1958.

“We are actually celebrating the birth of the Catholic faith in Arua diocese,” said Bishop Sabino Odoki of Arua Diocese.

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, head of the Vatican department for missionary work, will represent the Pope. Cardinal Filoni, officially referred to as Prefect for the Evangelisation of Peoples, arrived in Arua early in the week. On Wednesday, he led prayers at Arua cathedral, during which he commended the diocese for socio-economic development.

“I cannot help but express my appreciation for the selfless service that you render to Christ and the Church through teaching of catechism, charitable outreach to the needy, education of young people, reconciliation among families or divided groups and assistance to the elderly,” he said.

Arua Diocese, which has 1.2 million Christians, runs a number of health facilities including Maracha Hospital and 12 health centres spread throughout the districts of Arua, Adjumani, Moyo, Yumbe and Koboko. The diocese founded schools such as St. Charles Lwanga Secondary in Koboko, St. Joseph’s College Ombaci and St. Mary’s Ediofe, which continue to dominate academic performance in the area. It also operates rehabilitation centres, notably the Moyo Baby’s Home and Don Dino orphanage centre at Ediofe in Arua.

Rt. Rev. Lino Sanctus Wanok, the bishop Nebbi Catholic Diocese, says the celebration is not just about the Christian faith, but also the impact of the Church in society.

“Most schools, hospitals, health centers and roads in the region were constructed by the Church,” he said.




 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Govt halts Amuru-Adjumani border demarcation
DISTRICTS of Amuru and Adjumani have been at logger heads with Amuru claiming that its border is at Zoka River while Adjumani claims its border is at Apaa junction...
Journalists want tough media ownership laws
JOURNALISTS from Ankole sub region Parliament to enact a law that will stop people who are not trained in journalism and mass communication from starting a media house...
Principal Judge lauds plea bargain
THE Principal Judge Yorokamu Bamwine has commended the judiciary for embracing the process of introducing plea bargain practice directions in criminal justice...
77 couples tie knot at Namugongo mass wedding
THOUSANDS thronged Uganda Martyrs Shrine at Namugongo in Kampala to witness 77 couples exchange vows in a mass wedding...
South Africa
SOUTH Africa's acting High Commissioner to Uganda Wendy Swartz has rendered an "unreserved apology" to the continent for the spate of xenophobic attacks targeting African immigrants...
Govt accused of failing NEMA on kavera ban
Environmentalists have accused Government of frustrating efforts by National Environment Management Authority to ban the use of Kaveera...
Should African countries expel South Africans?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter