At Archbishop’s Installation in Uganda, Religious Leaders Urged to Foster Integral Growth

Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere is greeted by selected representatives of the Diocesan clergy, religious men and women, members of the faithful, and some representatives of the civil authority. Credit: Uganda Catholics online.

The need for religious leaders to work towards the integral growth of the faithful, addressing spiritual and material needs, was highlighted during the installation of the new Archbishop of Kampala on Tuesday, January 25.

Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere who was appointed as the Local Ordinary of Kampala Archdiocese on 9 December 2021 to succeed the late Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga was installed as the Archbishop of Ugandan Archdiocese at St. Mary’s  Lubaga Cathedral.

In a message that was read at the Archbishop’s installation by Uganda's Deputy President, Jessica Alupo, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni said that religious leaders are not only tasked with spiritual matters of their faithful, but also their economic and social transformation.

“Religious leaders should not allow their followers to wallow in poverty and underdevelopment. You should implore the faithful to work towards improving their livelihood and household incomes in order to meet the common needs for food, shelter, clothing, medicine and education,” President Museveni said.

The Ugandan Head of State said that many faithful neglect their lives claiming that they are just passersby on the journey to heaven.


Citing the biblical story of Jesus helping Joseph with carpentry work, and also healing the sick and the lame during his mission, the 77-year-old Ugandan President said that those who think that the Gospel has no concern for earthly issues are mistaken.

He said that the government of Uganda remains committed to partnering with the Church in improving access to social services such as education and health.

The Apostolic Nuncio in Ugand presents the pastoral staff to the new Archbishop. Credit: Uganda Catholics online

Congratulating the new Archbishop, President Museveni said that leadership is a gift from God and the most important ingredient for success and stability in any institution.

“As a shepherd of God’s people, you bear a dual responsibility. You have a responsibility of gathering a big harvest of souls for God’s kingdom through evangelism, teaching, counseling, and prayers,” he said, and added, “This involves calling upon your congregation to live according to the biblical teaching and taking a firm stand against evil practices in society such as corruption, segregation, injustices and domestic violence.”

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President Museveni described the new Archbishop as a “moral compass of society” saying, “You are tasked with a duty of directing people to the path of righteousness and good neighborliness.”

In his homily, Archbishop Ssemogerere who chose to be installed on the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, his patron Saint, said that the apostle’s conversion is a lesson to be emulated to overcome multiple challenges that the people of God are facing in Uganda.

The Archbishop highlighted some of the challenges faced by the people of God in the East African country including the challenge to protect the dignity of human person and the issue of COVID -19 and urged friendship and the spirit of change among the faithful.

He further said that the issue of unemployment among the youth despite being the majority in the country is alarming.

“We need to face these challenges and change, learn from St. Paul and change and become a friend to your brother and a compassionate citizen,” Archbishop Ssemogerere who had served the Ugandan Archdiocese as Apostolic Administrator since April 2021 said during his installation.


He continued, “We need God’s help so as to undergo a major help, quality transformation in the way we live, especially being accountable to each other. We cannot continue living in the spirit of Cain who said, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’”

The Archbishop added, “I have come to encourage you; many of these challenges and some of others of the like seem to rise against us to the point of paralyzing us. In such conditions, let us use the pastoral slogan of the Archdiocese of Kampala for this year, ‘Do not fear, pick up your mat and go.’”

The appointment of Archbishop-elect Ssemogerere who has been at the helm of Kasana-Luweero Diocese since his Episcopal Ordination in June 2008 was made public by the Holy See Press Office on 9 December 2021

The Archdiocese of Kampala became vacant following the death of Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga in April 2021. The late Archbishop was found dead in his room the morning of April 3, hours after preaching during the ecumenical Way of the Cross on Good Friday. 

Born in June 1956 in Kisubi in the Archdiocese of Kampala, Archbishop Ssemogerere was ordained a Priest for the same Ecclesiastical See in June 1983. 

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As a Priest, the Ugandan Prelate served in various capacities, including Dean of Christ the King Deanery in Kampala Archdiocese, and Vicar General of the Ugandan Metropolitan See. 

In June 1983, Pope John Paul II appointed him the second Local Ordinary of Kasana–Luweero Diocese, succeeding Archbishop Kizito Lwanga who had been transferred to Kampala Archdiocese. 

The newly installed Archbishop who is an alumnus of St. Francis de Sales Seminary, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the U.S. is expected to oversee the Ugandan Archdiocese that has a population of 1.9 million Catholics and covers 3,644 square kilometers, according to 2019 statistics.