By Agaba John
Kampala Archdiocese is joining the universal Catholic Church in final prayers for the demised Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere has announced.
Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Ratzinger died on Saturday aged 95 at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery. In the aftermath, the Vatican press office announced that a funeral mass would be held on January 5, 2023, ahead of burial at the Vatican Crypt. The body now lies in state at St Peter’s Basilica.
Pope Francis, successor to Benedict will lead the Vatican prayers while the prayers by the Catholic Church in Uganda will be led by the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Luigi Bianco at Lubaga Cathedral on the same day.
Speaking at the Institute of the Brothers of Christian Instruction-Kisubi (BCIK) in mass during which six members took perpetual vows to serve the Church, Kampala Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere said other dioceses of the Church worldwide would hold similar masses ahead of the laying to rest of the former Church head who made history in 2013 when he resigned from the papacy.
Archbishop Ssemogerere said that all dioceses of the church had been asked to hold prayers for the soul of the deceased pontiff. He called upon Christians to turn up in large numbers to pray for the repose of the soul of the former Pope.
Archbishop Ssemogerere lauded the demised pontiff’s service to the Church as a priest, leader at the Vatican, and later as Pope.
Away from the papal funeral, the Archbishop commended the six Brothers who had taken the decision to take perpetual vows to serve the Church, asking them to be faithful and abide by those vows in commitment to God and service of humanity. They committed themselves to chastity, poverty, and obedience.
Two others celebrated 25 years in service while one celebrated 50 years. The reigning provincial Superior of the Brothers of Christian Instruction-Kisubi Brother Casio Aizire also congratulated the silver and golden jubilant upon long service and asked those who took perpetual vows to always reflect on the Archbishop’s sermon and counsel.
He commended Christians for the material and spiritual support to the Brothers and the organization but also urged parents and Christians to send more children to take up the vocation of the Brotherhood for evangelization. He said there was a lot of need for missionaries in Europe and elsewhere in Africa.
Brother Casio Aizire cautioned against government and education institutions prioritizing passing examinations at the expense of the quality of persons molded.
The Provincial urged the government to take steps to end the carnage on the roads. This he said would call for honesty in designing and implementing road construction projects to ensure that they are motorable as well as eliminating corruption in the police force.
The Brothers of Christian Instruction is a Catholic Church institution that was founded by Gabriel Deshayes in France in 1819 to educate the poor alongside evangelization. In Uganda, the organization operates in eight dioceses and runs about 30 educational institutions, making a mark on the country’s literacy.