Most Reverend Ssemogerere installed as new Archbishop of Kampala
Most Reverend Paul Ssemogerere was installed on the 25th of January as the new Archbishop of Kampala Uganda. The installation was conducted on the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul who is the patron saint of the new archbishop.
Preaching at his first eucharist celebration in Rubaga Cathedral as the new Metropolitan of Kampala, the Archbishop Ssemogerere noted that the conversion of St. Paul came with multiple challenges as he went about doing the work of evangelization, but Paul overcame the challenges due to God’s grace. The archbishop alluded to his new responsibility and the challenges that will come with it, but he trusts God’s grace will accompany him too. He particularly noted that with divine providence and the intercession of the Uganda Martyrs, he will he will be available to provide guidance and support to all.
Archbishop Ssemogerere thanked the Holy Father Pope Francis for choosing him to shepherd the flock in Kampala Archdiocese following the death of the late Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga whom he had succeeded as Bishop in Kasana Luwero diocese. He also thanked Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala for nurturing and supporting him in his priesthood.
Thousands of people attended the installation including Catholic bishops from other parts of Uganda, and representatives from the Anglican Church, the Orthodox Church, and clerics from the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.
Biography of Archbishop Ssemogerere and highlights of his installation
Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere was born on June 30, 1956, at Kisubi, in the present-day Wakiso district. He attended Kigero Primary School before transferring to Kisubi Boys Primary School. He later joined St. Maria Goretti Senior Secondary School Katende, where he completed his ordinary level studies.
In 1976, Ssemogerere and seven other young men became pioneer students of St. Mbaaga Seminary at Ggaba Kampala that was founded by the late Cardinal Emmanuel Nsubuga. The seminary specializes in training “late vocations” or older men who desire to become priests without having attended a minor seminary.
In 1978, the late Emmanuel Cardinal Kiwanuka Nsubuga sent Ssemogerere to the Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the United States, where he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 1982. On November 21, 1981, he was ordained deacon by Archbishop Rembert George Weakland, the then Archbishop of Milwaukee.
On the 3rd of June 1983 which is Uganda Martyrs’ Day in Uganda, Ssemogerere was ordained a priest and incardinated in the Archdiocese of Kampala. His Episcopal journey began on June 4, 2008, when he was elected Bishop of Kasana-Luwero, to replace Dr. Kizito Lwanga who had been elevated to Archbishop of Kampala two years earlier.
The installation ceremony began with Rev. Fr. Puis Male, the Chancellor of Kampala Archdiocese reading out the Papal letter in Latin and later translated in both English and Luganda languages to this effect before the board of consulters and the congregation present after being presented by the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Luigi Bianco.
In his letter, Pope Francis noted that after his consultations with the congregation, he was convinced that Ssemogerere was ready for the new role having gathered spiritual and human competence, which he can use to enrich the spiritual and physical needs of the Kampala Archdiocese.
After reading the Papal letter, the new Archbishop, the Papal Nuncio to Uganda, Archbishop Luigi Bianco led Dr. Ssemogerere to a special canopy-like chair in the cathedral.
He presented him with a Mitre or a liturgical headdress and the Crosier also known as the Pastoral Staff that Pope John Paul VI used during his first visit to Uganda and Africa at large.
After this ritualistic event, Ssemogerere delivered a brief speech accepting the new role assigned to him by his venerable brother, Pope Francis expressing his gratitude and joy for being assigned to lead the great Archdiocese of Kampala which sent the congregation into jubilation as several people congratulated him.
After the installation, the new Archbishop led his first Mass as the Ordinary of Kampala Archdiocese joining a list of three others before him that included Archbishop Joseph Louis Cabana (1947-1960), Archbishop Joseph Kiwanuka (1960-1966), Emmanuel Cardinal Nsubuga (1966-1990), Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala (1990-2006), and Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga (2006-2021).
Several Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, nuns, special guests and hundreds of Christians witnessed the installation ceremony conducted by the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Luigi Bianco together with the Retired Papal Nuncio to Belgium Archbishop Augustine Kasujja.
Archbishop Luigi Bianco reminded the new Archbishop that bishops serve on behalf of the Pope, and therefore the virtue of obedience to the Holy Father is very important. The new Archbishop chose for his motto in Latin; ‘Crescamus in vitam Christi’, translated as: “We may grow in life of Jesus Christ.”
President Museveni invites Archbishop Ssemogerere to participate in gov’t’s work of socio-economic transformation of citizens
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni recently congratulated the newly installed Archbishop of Kampala Paul Ssemogerere with a call for him to bear a dual responsibilities of leading God’s flock to spiritual and socio-economic transformation.
The message was contained in the congratulatory message that was delivered by the Vice President Her Excellency Jessica Alupo. Museveni noted that Archbishop Ssemogerere has already exhibited able leadership wherever he has worked, and he invited him to join the government’s efforts to change the socio-economic lives of Ugandans. Supporting the government’s programs is one such road to changing societies.
President Museveni also donated a Prado Land Cruiser vehicle to facilitate the new Archbishop’s work around the archdiocese.
Among other politicians in attendance at the installation was the Deputy Speaker of Parliament the Rt. Honorable Anitah Annet Among, former Vice presidents Gibert Bukenya and Edward Ssekandi, and the leader of the largest opposition party in Uganda, Honorable Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu also knows and “Bobi Wine.”
Buganda Kingdom welcomes Archbishop Ssemogerere in Kampala
At the same occasion the Prime Minister of Buganda Kingdom Charles Peter Mayiga congratulated the new archbishop noting the long standing relationship between Buganda Kingdom and the Catholic Church for more than 143 years. It is King Mutesa I of Buganda who invited European Catholic missionaries to Uganda. The missionaries arrived in Uganda in 1879 and were given land by the king to settle on including the site where the current Rubaga Cathedral sits. The Prime Minister noted the need for Buganda Kingdom and the Catholic Church to collaboratively work together in addressing social challenges such as unemployment, cultural dilution, poverty, and injustice.