Uganda Catholic Church Plans To Host Pope Francis


about it geneva;”>If the visit is approved, it is projected to provide a perfect suit to next year’s commemoration of 50 years since the martyrs were canonized as saints in Rome.

The 22 Uganda Martyrs were canonized saints by Pope Paul IV at St. Basillica in Rome on October 18, 1964. This was celebrated in Uganda by a pilgrimage at Namugongo, presided over by his eminence Gregorian Pietro Cardinal Agagi.

The revelation was made by Kampala Archdiocese Archbishop Kizito Lwanga during this year’s Uganda Martyrs day celebrations on Monday at the Namugongo shrine.

“We are still praying for materialization of our plans to host again the Pontiff of the Catholic Church during our next year’s celebrations,” he said.

“We believe this would be a very opportune moment for us to commemorate our golden jubilee ever since the 22 martyrs were canonised as saints in 1964.”

Only on two occasions has Uganda hosted the pope. First was His Holiness Pope Paul IV who came on the July 31, 1969, and it was the first time a pope stepped foot on the African continent.

The second was a 6-day visit by Pope John Paul II who jetted in on March 5, 1993.

He also visited the Namugongo shrine and elevated it to the rank of minor Basilica.

Archbishop Lwanga called upon the government to lend a hand in the beautification of the shrine ahead of the celebrations.

“I would like to inform His Excellency the President of Uganda and all the members of the public that the Kampala Archdiocese which hosts the shrine welcomes future developments of the shrine so long as they are coordinated and follow development plans of our area,” said Archbishop Lwanga.

He further called upon everyone with any good plans for the shrine, to contact the parish chief of Namugongo, or the Uganda Martyrs Shrine Development Foundation with their contributions.

In this year’s celebrations which were led by Mbarara archdiocese under the theme “I Do not Call You Slaves But My Friends,” the church was also commemorating 100 years ever since the first two Uganda priests were ordained.


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