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Prayers Sought for Archbishop-elect of Uganda’s Kampala Archdiocese ahead of Installation

Archbishop-elect Paul Ssemogerere. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Chancellor of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kampala in Uganda is appealing for prayers ahead of the installation of the new Archbishop of the Ugandan Metropolitan See.

In an interview with ACI Africa a day after releasing his message announcing January 25 as the date set for the installation of Archbishop-elect Paul Ssemogerere, Fr. Pius Male encouraged the people of God in the Archdiocese to pray for the Ugandan Prelate.

“Let them pray for the newly elected Archbishop,” Fr. Male appealed to the people of God during the January 7 interview, and added, “let them pray for the good celebration and also pray for the good mission both for the shepherd and the sheep to be taken care of.”

He continued in reference to Archbishop-elect, “On behalf of the clergy, we are praying for him and we will give him the support he needs.”

“We pray that the Holy Spirit guides him so that he may take us through the years God has given him,” Fr. Male said about Archbishop-elect Ssemogerere who was appointed the new Archbishop of Kampala last month after serving the Ugandan Archdiocese as Apostolic Administrator since April 2021.

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In a Friday, January 7 interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Male said that the Archbishop- elect settled on January 25, the feast day of the conversion of St. Paul. The Priest told ACI Africa that Paul is the Patron Saint of the Archbishop-lect.

Making reference to the date of the installation, the Chancellor of Kampala Archdiocese said the Archbishop-elect who was named after St. Paul settled for January 25, the feast day of the conversion of St. Paul.

Fr. Male further encouraged the people of God to “also pray for Christian unity” ahead of the January 25 installation, the day that marks the conclusion of the week of prayer for Christian Unity. 

The installation event is expected to be held at St. Mary’s Lubaga Cathedral of Kampala Archdiocese, the venue that has played host to three Popes in the past: on 29 July 1969 when Pope Paul VI closed the African Bishops’ Synod and officially launched the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM); on 8 February 1993 when Pope John Paul II met Catholic Bishops and Priests after a prayer service; and in November 2015 when Pope Francis visited the East African nation alongside Kenya and the Central African Republic (CAR).

Fr. Male told ACI Africa that preparations for the installation of the new Archbishop are underway and that the Archdiocese of Kampala is working with the ministry of health to ensure that COVID-19 protocols are adhered to on the material day.

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“Our department of health is putting across measures to ensure there is security and enough sensitization with regards to COVID-19,” the Ugandan Priest said during the January 7 interview.

He added, “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we kindly ask everyone to stay at home and follow the event on their television or other platforms like YouTube and Facebook where it will be broadcast.”

Uganda that had ordered closure of all schools in March 2020 amid COVID-19 restrictions only reopened its schools for physical learning on Monday, January 10.

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. 

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

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 Archbishop-elect 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.

The Metropolitan Archdiocese of Kampala comprises four suffragan Dioceses of Kasana-Luweero, Kiyinda-Mityana, Lugazi, and Masaka.

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