The Bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Lira, the Rt Rev Joseph Franzeli has asked priests from central and western Uganda to go and work in northern Uganda.
He argued that the Catholic Church was missionary by its very nature, which is why priests from the more privileged dioceses should consider doing missionary work in the relatively disadvantaged dioceses.
“We need to become more Catholic and more missionary. It doesn’t help to have many priests in a particular diocese when another diocese is suffering! A priest is ordained for the Universal Church,” he said.
He was delivering a talk during the Catholic Missionary Congress at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel, Rubaga, on Thursday (October 12).
Franzeli later advised the priests and the religious people to be committed to the people, in order to remain relevant.
“People must not remain vulnerable. So, empower them so that they can take up their lives. You must also remain with the people, even in the most difficult times. Seminary training should also emphasize the missionary aspect of the Church,” Franzeli further said.
Franzeli’s concerns had been earlier raised by Fr Fred Tusingire, a priest of Fort Portal diocese, who during his presentation, observed that many priests were yearning to work as missionaries in Europe and the US, but were reluctant to go and serve in places like Karamoja, or ghetto places where there street children, sex-workers and homeless people dwelled.
Fr Ambrose Bwangatto called for the institution of comprehensive programs for preparing priests and religious men and women for mission, as it is in countries like Nigeria.