Today has marked exactly 143 years since the birth of Catholicism in Uganda

Today has marked exactly 143 years since the birth of Catholicism in Uganda

Today has marked exactly 143 years since the birth of Catholicism in Uganda. Hundreds of believers joined the celebration from all over the country to commemorate the day.

Mass was Celebrated by His Grace Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere At kigungu Entebbe Who Thanked the Missionaries of Africa for bringing the light of God and spreading Faith In the people Of God.

He Also Thanked the late Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga Who put more emphasis in the yearly Kigungu Pilgrimage.

The Archbishop encourage us to Proclaim Our Faith Starting from our Families and towards our friends to encourage them follow Christ.

He Also encouraged us to move In the footsteps of Fr Simeon Lourdel and Brother Amans. As quoted by Pope Paul XI in 1969 “Africans be missionaries to your self”

The Archbishop Spotted the need of more missionaries in the Catholic church within Uganda and all over the world. Hence encouraging Youths to join the missionary life looking at Fr Simeon Lourdel as an example who arrived in Uganda at 25 years old.

The Archbishop Prayed through Mother Mary to pray for us as we continue to grow our faith.

Key Facts

KIGUNGU: THE BIRTHPLACE OF CATHOLICISM IN UGANDA

Slightly more than 136 years ago, a small landing site of Kigungu in Entebbe, Wakiso District, received two French missionaries whose mission was to change the way people in the hinterland worshipped. The two were Rev Fr Simeon Lourdel and Brother Amans. Since then, every February 17, many Catholics make pilgrimage to Kigungu to commemorate the arrival of Christianity in Uganda.
On February 17, 1879, when the two men got ashore, they had no idea what awaited them or how their mission would impact the country. The missionary pair had landed on the shores of Lake Victoria.

Today, the place is an expansive well-maintained rolling ground inviting for people seeking rest in a serene environment. It is a venue for relaxation too and often used for entertainment. It is protected as the original centre for research on the Catholic religion in Uganda.
According to archives from the Catholic literature at Kigungu, Mapeera and Amansi left Marseilles (their native place) with the First Caravan of White Fathers on April 22, 1878, and landed in Zanzibar on June 17. The Caravan then ventured on land into the interior of Africa. Of the 10 missionaries, two braved the wilderness, northwards, crossed Lake Victoria and arrived in Uganda.

Legend has it that the area got its name from a lakeshore tree called Kigungu. The huge tree was being used by fishermen to dry their fish as they waited for clients. When no or fewer clients showed up, the excess fish was often left to rot in the open. Sometimes, the fishermen abandoned their catch at the site out of frustration because there were no people to eat the fish.

Kigungu Church has through the times changed, from the mud-and-wattle structure built by Bishop Edward Michaud (the prelate lived there in 1933 to 1945) to a baked brick and tiled building. The place first started as pilgrimage site in 1960s, with the then parish priest Fr Joseph Kyeyune and some well-wishes playing lead roles. The trips have today morphed into a revered annual pilgrimage by the faithful.