Saturday, 8 June 2013

Pope’s envoy opens new building for Church

Pope’s envoy opens new building for Church 
 Costing over sh3.3b to erect, the building replaces an outdated 
decades-old structure
NSAMBYA, Kampala - The Uganda Catholic Secretariat has acquired a new three-storied administration block that replaces the outdated structure built several decades ago.

Opening the building on Friday at Nsambya Parish, the Pope’s envoy [papal nuncio] to Uganda, Archbishop Michael August Blume, urged church leaders and those that would be using it to help the poor, and agenda that sits high in Pope Francis’ reign as the head of the world’s Catholics.

The building that cost over sh3.3b was named after Bishop Henry Hanlon, who was a missionary of the Mill-Hill congregation – also referred to as the White Fathers.

The naming after him was in recognition of the great work the prelate did in Uganda.

The structure that has a stunning compound has a wing for the bishops’ offices and other offices for the secretariat.

“This building is necessary, because it will also help the Church in furtherance of the evangelization and to enhance Pope Francis’ call to the church to help the poor, which strengthens its foundation.

“And as a house built on a strong foundation lasts longer, this building should strengthen you in the service to all God’s people,” said the papal envoy.

Papal Nuncio to Uganda, Archbishop Michael August Blume (in white), reads a verse as Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala (in white on the opposite end) and other Catholic bishops listen to him during the launch of sh3.3b building named after Bishop Henry Hanlon on Friday, June, 7, 2013. PHOTO/Juliet Luwkago
Msgr John Baptist Kauta, the secretary of Episcopal Conference in Uganda, who is also works at the Secretariat, attended the opening of the structure.

The opening ceremony also attracted retired Archbishop of Kampala Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala and bishops including president of Episcopal Conference, John Baptist Odama; John Baptist Kaggwa of Masaka and Auxiliary bishop of Kampala, Christopher Kakooza.

Joseph Anthony Zziwa of Kiyinda-Mityana, Archbishop of Tororo, Denis Lote Kiwanuka, retired Bishop of Nebbi diocese, Martin Luluga, Bishop of Soroti diocese, Emmanuel Obbo and Robert Muhiirwa of Fort-Portal were also present, among other church leaders.

Msgr Kauta said that Bishop Hanlon was consecrated a bishop on July 17, 1894 and was named Titular Archbishop of Teos diocese.

He was ordained a priest two months later on September 21, 1889 and was first sent to northern India where he served until 1894.

Blessing the new structure
He was appointed the first Vicar Apostolic of Upper Nile District of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tororo.

 “He led the first batch of four Mill Hill missionaries to the African interior that arrived in Kampala on foot from the port of Mombasa on September 26, 1895 and were received by Kabaka Mwanga, who offered them land on Nsambya hill,” explained Msgr Kauta.

It was at Nsambya that they established their mission headquarters. The hill accommodates St Peter’s Church, Nsambya and several renowned schools.

Bishop Hanlon also founded new parishes at Budaka, Masaba and Nyondo in the eastern region between 1901 and 1906.

He bought to Kampala a congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of St Joseph from Manchester in 1903.

He returned to England and began diocesan work at Safford – becoming a rector at St Alban in 1915, Blackburn where he stayed until ill-health forced him into retirement in 1934.

His death came in 1937 at the age of 75.