By Our Reporter
Katakwi: The Soroti Catholic Diocese opened St. Peter Claver Catholic Parish-Ongongoja on Sunday to extend services to the people of Katakwi district. This becomes the fifth Catholic parish in the district.
The new parish has been carved out of St. Ann’s Catholic parish, Usuk.
According to Rev. Dr. Joseph Eciru Oliach, the Bishop of Soroti Diocese, Usuk had pastorally and administratively proven wide and growing, thus deeming it opportune to erect a new parish to bring services closer to the people of God.
“In accordance with the law of the church, I hereby erect a new parish, carving it from St. Ann’s catholic parish Usuk and conferring on it the title of St. Peter Claver catholic parish Ongongoja,” the bishop said.
Eciru further said that, in accordance with the law, St. Peter Claver Catholic Parish will constitute a parish pastoral council and finance council pursuant to the norms of the universal and pastoral law.
He made the remarks while presiding over the sanctification of the newly opened St. Peter Claver parish and the consecration and installation of Rev. Fr. Edmund Anyutu as the pioneer parish priest.
The function was attended by Vice President Maj. (Rtd) Jessica Alupo, who doubles as a Katakwi District Woman Member of Parliament.
Others in attendance included Rose Lily Akello, minister in charge of ethics and integrity; Usuk County MP Bosco Okiror; Toroma County MP Joseph Andrew Koluo; district chairman Geoffrey Omolo; and RDC Maj. Godfrey Katamba, among other guests.
In her remarks, the vice president congratulated Christians of Ongongoja upon this achievement and thanked Bishop Eciru for the choice of name given to the mission (St. Peter Claver Catholic Parish).
Alupo appealed to locals to fulfill the seven sacraments since the mission is now near, which include baptism, Holy Eucharist, confirmation, penance, anointing of the sick, Holy Matrimony, and Holy Orders.
“I will be happy to hear that Christians of St. Peter’s Clever have turned up for sacraments in large numbers,” the vice president said. She advised the locals to always seek advice from the now-near parish priest.
Alupo applauded and thanked the residents who offered their land for the construction of the church mission.
“I want to thank you for your contribution of cows, hens, goats, and food for building the mission. We have contributed equally,” she said.
Alupo further noted that St. Ann catholic parish produced Christ the King parish and then produced St. Peter Clever. We should be thankful to the Almighty for remaining united and playing our roles as faithfully devoted Christians.
She thanked Rev. Fr. Anyutu, the new parish priest of St. Peter Claver-Ongongoja, for his ability, knowledge, energy, and pastoral hard work.
“You have given us the best. I thank all the parish priests for guiding us through their daily services,” she said. She appealed to Christians to organize for the official homecoming of the new priest.
She thanked Pope Francis for giving them Bishop Eciru to head Soroti Diocese and asked the prelate to kindly extend their greetings to the pope.
Alupo appealed to the parents to consider taking their children to technical schools as well, in addition to tertiary institutions.
The vice president pledged to continue building the newly opened parish by helping to pave the entire compound and planting grass as they await the priest’s guidance.
In the future, we hope to build a better church that matches the status of a parish.
Alupo lauded security organs, commanders, and their troops for fighting cattle rustling and thefts in the Karamoja and Teso subregions.
“For the last four months, the Teso subregion has been so peaceful; we have not experienced any cattle thefts, and I commend our security organs for pacifying the region,” Alupo said.
She thanked Maj. Kuteesa for his coordinated efforts. “We want this miracle of peace to be permanent in Katakwi,” Alupo said. The vice president took the chance to assure locals that no Karimojong rustler will disturb our parish priest.
“I want to tell you people that your son is in a safe haven; we have an available and trusted network; don’t worry,” Alupo said. She appealed for unity between the Iteso and Karimojong people, saying there’s development when we all co-relate.
She appealed to church leaders to keep preaching about the parish development model and the dangers of bush burning. She also urged parents to love each other to combat the looming domestic violence.
On behalf of the family of Epel George William, the vice president contributed a cow for Bishop Eciru and a heifer for the new priest.
Do you have a story about your community or an opinion to share with us? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.