KAMPALA - The Katikkiro of Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga has called for a harmonious working relationship between Christians and Muslims. He argued that believers of the two faiths have a common ancestry in God, which was why it made no sense for them to hate and sometimes even harm each other.
Mayiga gave the example of the late Amir Ssekikubo, a prominent Muslim chief, who he said, welcomed the pioneer Catholic missionaries, accommodated them and even helped them to meet the Kabaka, when they came here in 1879.
Records from the archives of the White Fathers indicate that the pioneer Catholic missionaries, Fr Simeon Lourdel Mapeera and Bro Delmas Amans (of the missionary society of White Fathers, also called Missionaries of Africa) arrived at Kigungu Landing Site, in Entebbe on February 17, 1879.
They then made a foot-journey to the palace of King Muteesa I of Buganda at Rubaga, to ask the king to allow them preach the Catholic faith. When they reached at Kitebi (in Rubaga Division), Amir Ssekikubo accommodated them at his home as he made formal arrangements for them to have audience with the king.
The Katikkiro asked the Catholics to emulate the good example of Ssekikubo, who he said exhibited amazing humanity and civilization when he disregarded his religious affiliation and treated the Catholic missionaries as brothers in humanity.
The Katikkiro’s message was delivered for him by the Buganda state minister for education, the Hon Dr Prosperous Nankindu Kavuma, who represented him during the pilgrimage for the 140th anniversary of the encounter between Amir Ssekikubo and the Catholic missionaries. The celebrations took place at Mapeera Memorial Church at Kitebi, in Rubaga Division on Thursday, April 21.
Delivering his homily during mass, the presiding minister, Fr Anthony Musaala asked Catholics to be more committed to the service of the Church. He asked them to emulate the pioneer missionaries, who he said had amazing commitment to their ministry.
“The sacrifice that Fr Mapeera, Brother Amans and their confreres made when they opted to come here cannot be understood in human terms. They left their posh country, France and came to a place they did not know. They were also men of great determination, who also had enormous faith in God. We have to emulate their sacrificial service to the Church and the country,” Musaala said.
The celebrations were also attended by members of Amir Ssekikubo’s family, who put the ideal of Christian-Moslem dialogue to reality when they conducted prayers for the late Ssekikubo at the Church. The prayers were led by Sheikh Diriisa Ssewannyana.