“I found him a very easy person to work with since he was so prompt in giving information that needed publication from the Zambian Conference. He would highly be relied upon for any information that needed clarification,” says the member of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Anna (FSSA) in a message sent to ACI Africa.
Making reference to Bishop Hamungole’s January 4 Facebook post in which the late Bishop had confirmed that he was in a stable condition while undergoing treatment, the Kenyan Sister says, “It was far from imagination that death was looming.”
“It was quite shocking and unbelievable to hear about the loss of Bishop Hamulonge. It’s painful and very sad that we now talk about him as the late,” Sr. Jecinter said and implored, “We pray for the repose of his soul that the Lord may reward his services to the Church as he rests in peace.”
Ordained a Priest for the Archdiocese of Lusaka in August 1994, Bishop Hamungole held a Licentiate in Social Sciences with a major in Social Communication from the Rome-based Gregorian University.
At the time of his death, the alumnus of the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium also doubled as the Chairman of the Commission for Social Communications at ZCCB.
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In a statement sent to ACI Africa, Bishops in Zambia describe Bishop Hamungole as having served “with distinction in spearheading the apostolate to and through the media as the Bishop Director for Communication.”
“He thus played a critical role in the establishment and advancement of several Catholic media outlets,” the members of ZCCB say in their January 14 statement.
The late Prelate was also the Bishop Director of the Association of Zambian Diocesan Catholic Clergy (AZDCC), a function he held with “immense love and deep appreciation of the irreplaceable (role) played by Diocesan Priests in the work of integral evangelization within the local Church,” according to the members of ZCCB.
“It is, therefore, our sincere hope that memories of Bishop Hamungole will always inspire the Church in Zambia to evangelize effectively by making good use of modern means of communication as well as inspire genuine vocations to the Diocesan Priesthood,” the Bishops say in their January 14 letter signed by ZCCB President, Bishop George Lungu.
The Bishops in Zambia go on to describe their late brother Bishop’s episcopal ministry in Monze Diocese as one where he served the faithful “with much diligence as their chief shepherd.”
“He will be remembered and greatly missed as a humble and developmental Bishop,” eulogize the Bishops.
The late Bishop was spearheading the construction of a new Cathedral in his Diocese, an initiative that received a boost last July when the Government of Zambia handed over a five-hectare piece of land for the church project.
“Your desire was to see Monze Diocese continue the growth of the faith championed by your predecessors but more so develop the Diocese of Monze and so you opened parishes and commissioned the building of the new Cathedral to be the symbol of the growth of the Catholic faith in Monze,” Sydney Mwamainda eulogizes in his January 14 Facebook post, recalling Bishop Hamungole’s initiative in the construction of the Holy Trinity Cathedral.
Sydney Mwamainda also describes Bishop Hamungole as “a giant, Media professional with all the passion that the art demands including going it alone when no one sees light at the end of the tunnel.”
The late Bishop is expected to be laid to rest at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus grounds Saturday, January 16.
Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.