Foster “skills of leadership” in Students: Catholic Bishop in Uganda to School Management

Bishop Matthias Ssekamanya of Uganda's Lugazi Diocese. Credit: Courtesy Photo

A Catholic Bishop in Uganda has challenged those at the helm of Our Lady of Africa Senior Secondary Namilyango (OLAN) to foster their proven “skills of leadership” in the students enrolled at the private institution of learning. 

In his message during his pastoral visit to the school that is located in Uganda's Seeta Mukono District, a region covered by Lugazi Diocese, Bishop Matthias Ssekamanya told the school management not only to be implementers but also “creators of different aspects of life” in their students so that they can be among those to propel the East African country to greater heights “tomorrow”.

“Director of the school and Board members, you are leaders; you are creative; I would like you to share the same with your students so that tomorrow, we get a good minister, president… give them the skills of leadership,” Bishop Ssekamanya said Thursday, June 30, 

The Ugandan Catholic Bishop who was appointed the Local Ordinary of Lugazi Diocese in November 1996 and retired in November 2014 expressed his prayer that the mixed Secondary School “provides students who will take the leadership of this country in every aspect if possible.”

The 85-year-old Bishop who was at the school to confer the Sacrament of confirmation to students who had been prepared urged the staff members to act as “parents of the students, encouraging the students to make right choices in life.


“Encourage the students and guide them accordingly,” he said, and added, “Don’t just let them choose what they feel. It is your job to identify and pray that the Holy Spirit may help you to guide your students because you are now in the shoes of the parents,.”

Addressing himself to the students, Bishop Ssekamanya made reference to the entertainments they presented and encouraged them to use such platforms to improve their leadership skills.

“Students, this is the occasion to make yourself a leader; don’t just be a leader here; see what are your strengths and what are the opportunities to improve your leadership, look at the challenges,” he said, and added, “In your entertainments, be creative so that you can be a creative leader in the future.”

He continued, “These entertainments you have done are part and parcel of your training; you don’t just have to be in books, but be sociable in whatever you are being given with others.”

The Uganda Bishop underscored the value of co-curricular activities, saying, “I insist on the outside class activities; scouting and even singing; they are important for relaxing; you all need that.”

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He went on to challenge the students to prepare themselves for the future by taking appropriate courses that will enable them contribute well to the East African country. He said, “Start dreaming about what you want to be; what type of course do you want to take; what contribution do you think you will give to our country?”

“You should be proud of your school; you have this group of board of governors, some of you should come to succeed them because they will get old and eventually retire,” Bishop Ssekamanya further said.

He expressed his optimism in the students enrolled at the private school that started in February 2003, emphasizing the need for parental guidance and the spirit of listening.

He said, “Students, my prayer is that you may achieve all of what you have in mind but under the guidance of your parents and the staff; don’t go all along by yourself; listen to what you are being told.”

“Those who are going to be confirmed, pray that the Holy Spirit may help you to digest and assimilate what you have been taught,” the Catholic Bishop who started his Episcopal Ministry as Auxiliary Bishop of Uganda’s Kampala Archdiocese in June 1985 said.


“There are times you will face dark days, invite the Holy Spirit to guide you,” Bishop Ssekamanya said during the June 30 event, and added, “I have come here not only to give confirmation … but (also) to tell you that we are called to live according to God’s will.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.