By Juliet Lukwago
Bishop of Masaka Diocese John Baptist Kaggwa has revealed that Katigondo National Major Seminary that produced the first two indigenous African Roman Catholic priests is to celebrate 100 years since its establishment.
The celebrations are slated for May 25, March later this year. The first Ugandan priests were ordained in 1913 at Katigondo.
Kaggwa said that in order to mark the milestone, the seminary needs sh3bn, which is not yet collected.
The bishop who was addressing the organization’s preparations committee meeting at the Uganda Catholic Secretariat in Nsambya on Wednesday.
He called upon the Old Boys, well-wishers, members of the business community, friends of Katigondo and all people of good will including politicians to support the historic occasion by generously contributing to its success.
Kaggwa revealed that each priest in Masaka has contributed sh50,000, and he urged all Christians to contribute unreservedly towards the noble cause.
“Katigondo National Major Seminary actually forms an integral part of the history of the Roman Catholic Church, not only in Uganda, but also in the East African region and the entire African continent,” he said.
“It is the institution that turned out the first two African Roman Catholic priests in the names of the late Msgr. Victoro Mukasa Womeraka and Fr Basil Lumu in the Sub-Saharan Africa.”
The institution also produced the first African Catholic Bishop – the late Dr Joseph Nakabaale Kiwanuka.
Kaggwa said they plan to expand the institution by constructing new projects and expanding the old ones that include the library and computer laboratory.
He said that while Katigondo Seminary was initially designed to accommodate about 150 students, it currently accommodates 270.
In essence, the institution is in its 102nd year of existence, and the bishop regretted that they have to celebrate its centenary two years later.
He attributed the delay partly to difficulties that prevailed in 2011, among other constraints, more particularly financial ones.
Four thousand seminarians have studied at Katigindo since its inception, but only 1,700 have been ordained priests and 27 consecrated bishops since.
Several prominent Ugandans and non-Ugandans have gone through the school through the years.
But, the school has trained many prominent people Ugandans and non-Ugandans.
Vice Rector Fr Pastor Mpola, who accompanied the bishop, urged the Old Boys to donate generously to the cause and to mobilise Christians and influence their friends and people of good will to give generously.