KAMPALA Senior Uganda Catholic Church officials have been assigned key roles to ensure the planned visit by the Pope in November goes without incident.
The preparations will be headed by Gulu Archbishop John Baptist O’dama, the chairman of the Uganda Episcopal Conference. The Episcopal Conference is the church’s in-country apex assembly where top leaders meet to discuss and take collective decisions to advance and coordinate the social and pastoral duties.
According to the preliminary programme, Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, in whose ecclesiastical province the Pope will be hosted, will head the Construction and Finance Committee, which will virtually oversee all the preparations in run up to the event. His committee is charged with fundraising and refurbishment of both the Namugongo and Munyonyo Martyrs’ shrines.
The Vatican last week confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Uganda on November 27-29, this year, during his 6-day first Africa trip.
Catholic Church officials yesterday declined to confirm the assigned responsibilities, while Lira bishop Joseph Franzelli, who heads the publicity committee and official spokesman for the national steering committee, was reported on a trip in Italy.
Details emerging from high-level preparatory meetings for the Pontiff’s visit indicate that on arrival, Pope Francis will meet President Museveni at Entebbe State House. Only the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Micheal Blume, and Archbishop Odama as well as Lwanga are other officials expected at that meeting. The Pope will then be chauffeured to Kampala, waving to residents and passerby along Entebbe highway.
He will visit Munyonyo shrine and then meet the youth at Kololo ceremonial ground where an estimated 10, 000 youths selected by respective dioceses are expected to converge.
Archbishop Lwanga on Sunday released the pope’s itinerary. On Saturday, November 28, the Pope will lead mass at Namugongo Catholic shrine after a brief visit to the Protestant shrine. It is understood that Vatican has instructed the church that no speeches are made during the Eucharistic celebrations, or after. The Pope will retire for lunch, and later meet the catechists and the Bishops separately at Rubaga Cathedral.
He will then visit the Catholic Church-run Bakateyamba home in Nalokolongo, a Kampala outskirt, and have a meal with the homeless as his last official programme in Uganda, en-route to Central African Republic.
Liturgy Bishop Christopher Kakooza Mukono
Protocol Security Bishop Paul Ssemogerere Kasana-Luwero (This committee will manage all the Pope’s meetings)
Publicity/Media and Communications Bishop Joseph Franzelli (Lira)
Accommodation: Bishop J.B Kaggwa (Masaka)
Health: Bishop Robert Muhirwa (Fort Portal)
Catering: Msgr. J.B Kauta.