Rome (Agenzia Fides) - The Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, is in Uganda to conclude the 50th anniversary celebrations of the creation of the Archdiocese of Kampala. In his pastoral visit from October 26 to 30, the Prefect will meet children and young people tomorrow morning Friday 27 October, then priests, religious men and women and seminarians at the Ggaba National Major Seminary. In the afternoon, the meeting with the President of the Republic, which will be followed with the meeting of couples in St. Mary's Cathedral and the blessing of the memorial museum dedicated to Pope Francis.
On Saturday October 28 there will be a meeting with catechists and teachers at the Shrine of Martyrs in Munyonyo, followed with the Mass of dedication of the Sanctuary. In the afternoon a visit to the poor in Kisenyi will be carried out. On Sunday, October 29, Cardinal Filoni will preside the solemn Eucharistic Concelebration for the concluding celebrations of the Jubilee of the Archdiocese of Kampala at the Shrine of the Ugandan Martyrs. On Monday 30, the Cardinal will return to Rome.
The Ugandan Saint Martyrs are a group of twenty-two servants, pages and officials of the King of Buganda (present Uganda) converted to Catholicism by the African Missionaries (White Fathers) who were killed as Christians under the reign of Mwanga II (1884-1903) between 15 November 1885 and 27 January 1887, who refused to repudiate their faith. They were beatified by Pope Benedict XV in 1920 and canonized by Paul VI on 8 October 1964 in St. Peter’s. During his apostolic visit to Africa in 1969, Paul VI dedicated the great Namugongo Shrine to them. On February 7, 1993, Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass in the Shrine during his pastoral visit to Benin, Uganda, and Khartoum. Even Pope Francis paid homage to the Ugandan Martyrs and celebrated Mass in the Shrine of Namugongo on November 28, 2015.
The Archdiocese of Kampala was erected on August 5, 1966. It has a population of 4,242,000, of whom 1,740,000 are Catholics, there are 63 parishes, 288 diocesan priests and 72 religious priests, 160 major seminarians, 285 non religious priests and 666 nuns. It runs 398 educational institutions and 69 assistance and charity centers. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 26/10/2017)