HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE DIOCESE OF KASESE.
BACKGROUND OF THE DIOCESE
The Diocese of Kasese was curved out of Fort Portal diocese in 1989. It covers the current administrative district of Kasese and is the smallest in the Ecclesiastical province of Mbarara. The diocese covers a total area of 3389.9 sq kilometers of which 2911.3 sq km is land and 409.7sq km is occupied by water bodies and 68.8sq km is wetlands. 63 percent of the land (1,834.6 sq.km) is occupied by nature and wild life reserves and other public utilities such as government institutions.
The population of the diocese, which according to the results of the National Population and Housing Census, 2014, is 702,029 (males 338,796 and females 363,233) occupies only 33% of the land in a narrow corridor between the Rwenzori Mountains National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park. There are 140,697 households with an average household size of 4.9.
The Diocese of Kasese is surrounded by Fort Portal Diocese in the north and east, Mbarara archdiocese in the south and Butembo-Beni (DRC) in the west. The diocese of Kasese covers Kasese District which is also bordered by Bundibugyo to the north, Kabarole and Kamwenge to the east, Rubirizi to the south and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west.
The diocese is home to Uganda’s highest snowcapped mountain ranges, two great national parks (Rwenzori and Queen Elizabeth), lakes Edward and George and fertile valleys and plains. The diocese displays all the vegetation types of Uganda. It enjoys an ambient climate with two rain seasons and two dry seasons which supports rich fauna and flora and a booming agricultural industry. Major crops grown include coffee, cotton, groundnuts, beans, bananas, maize, cassava and vegetables.
The climate is generally characterized of two rain seasons – the short rains received between March and May and the long rains received from mid August to December. Annual rainfall ranges from 800mm-1600mm, and is greatly influenced by altitude. This supports two cropping seasons, the short rains mainly grain legumes and seasonal tubers such as ipomea potatoes and during the long rains cotton, grain legumes and tubers such as cassava. The mountain slopes and valleys support perennial crops such as bananas and coffee. The rich fertile soils and the good climate contribute to making the diocese of Kasese self-sustaining in food production. The communities also produce grain legumes, vegetables, coffee and cotton for the market giving them a fair level of household income. On the lower slopes and in the plains pastoral communities keep large herds of cattle and goats.
However, the main economic challenge facing the farming community in the diocese of Kasese is land shortage; more than 65% of the land in the diocese is occupied by national parks, government farms and mining land. The community occupies only 35% of the land which uses for both settlement and farming hence causing too much pressure that has resulted into unprecedented land degradation hence negatively impacting the productivity potential of the land. The second challenge is erratic weather; most of the land in the diocese lies within the rain shadow of the Rwenzori Mountains and on the floor of the western rift valley. This, coupled with the looming global climate change, has adversely affected the rainfall pattern which in turn has had unpredictable changes that have made it almost impossible to predict the weather. Therefore, crop losses to drought or to too much rainfall are common lately. This has escalated the level of poverty of most of the communities in the diocese who mainly rely on agriculture as the principal means of livelihood.
Poverty is very high among the diocesan populace especially the rural areas and stands at 48% according to the Poverty status report of 2002 by UBOS. However, this trend is declining although latest figures are not available. According to another report 55.2% of households in the diocese are described as being either ‘moderately poor’ or ‘extremely poor’ with the highest concentration of ‘extremely poor’ households being found in the local governments of Kitswamba, Muhokya, Kitholhu, Lake Katwe, Hima, Karusandara, Mpondwe Lhubiriha, Katwe Kabatoro, Nyamwamba and Bulembia divisions (Renno, D. et al: Profiling Poverty in Kasese District, 2011-12). Some of the main causes of poverty cited are land shortage, laziness or idleness, alcoholism, lack of employment or productive opportunities and lack of access to credit facilities.
The diocese has basically 5 livelihood pockets;
- The mountain areas, which form the northern part of the district stretching from Kyabarungira through Bugoye, Mahango, Kyarumba to Kitholhu which mainly grow cash and food crops (coffee, bananas, passion fruits and grain legumes with cassava).
- Cattle keeping community; mainly covering Nyakatonzi, Kabirizi, Muhokya and Karusandara areas. The cattle keeping habits are still traditional and production of milk and meat is still low. The cattle grazing areas are also used for arable farming resulting in occasional conflicts between the pastoralists and the cultivators.
- The fishing community which lives on Lakes George and Edward.
- Commercial community mainly located in the urban centres of Kasese, Bwera, Lhubiriha, Hima, Kisinga and Kinyamaseke and is mainly involved in retail trade as well as informal cross border trade.
- Mining and manufacturing industrial community: These communities are found in Kasese town, Kilembe, Hima and Katwe Kabatooro areas. These together with employed civil servants earn a living from a monthly salary.
With a total population of 702,029 people according to the provisional results of the 2014 National Housing and Population Census, Kasese district (which also covers DOK) is the fifth most populated district in Uganda. It grows at a rate of 3.6% per annum. The proportion of Catholics in the diocese of Kasese is estimated at 48% percent of the population.
Vital Ecclesiastical data
|Year||Catholics||Total Population||Percent Catholic||Diocesan Priests||Religious Priests||Total Priests||Catholics Per Priest||Male Religious||Female Religious||Parishes||Source|
Source: http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dkase.html (accessed on 26th September 2015)
The Catholic diocese of Kasese was erected on 6th March 1989 being carved out of the Diocese of Fort – Portal. It is the smallest diocese in the Metropolitan archdiocese of Mbarara. It covers 3,205 Square Kilometers (1,237 Square Miles). The first ordinary was Bsp Egidio Nkaijanabwo who retired in 2014 and was succeeded by His lordship Aquirino Francis Kibira.
Other religions in the diocese are the Anglican Protestants, Pentecostals, Seventh Day Adventists, Islam and African Traditional Religion.
2.1 Background to the process
The year 2014 was land mark for the Diocese of Kasese: it marked 25 years in existence and the founding Bishop, Egidio Nkaijanabwo was succeeded by His Worship Aquirino Francis Kibira. The year ended with the diocesan finance commission having concluded preparations for developing the first ever Strategic Plan for the Diocese. Earlier, in 1999 the diocese had held its first ever synod whose main thrust was revitalization of evangelism and spiritual growth. This strategic plan is sequel to the synod recommendations and explores further ideas on how the diocese of Kasese can reposition itself:
- To become a truly united and an inclusive church
- To draw on the available local resources to become self-supporting and self-financing
- To continue to harness enough pastoral agents to become self-ministering
The process of developing this strategic plan was highly consultative. It started with desk review of the key diocesan documents and publications which was followed by a consultative meeting involving the clergy and selected members of the laity. This was facilitated by a resource person, Mr. James Mwirima of MHL. The draft strategic document was then presented to the clergy meeting for discussion and adoption.
2.2. Historical Analysis of the Diocese of Kasese
|1989||On 6th March 1989 the Diocese was erected.
– Appointment of the first Bishop
– Opening of parishes (Hima and Katwe)
– Ordination of priests
– The Diocese begun with the following commissions:
i. Caritas commissions
ii. Justice and peace commission
iii. Education commission
iv. Social communication commissions
v. Pastoral commission
vi. Creation of the Laity and catechists councils under the pastoral commission.
– Ordination of 1st priest – Fr. John Birungi Kithendere
|1991||– consolidation of the Commissions
– Capacity Building (Msgr. Landas Bwambale was sent in Rome to study Canon Law.
– Ibanda convent was established
– Construction of Kasese parish offices and presbytery started.
|1991||– Construction of the minor seminary started at Kiburara
– Bishop’s house construction started
– Construction of the Diocesan Offices
– Started the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) in the Diocese
– Begun 1st edition of Omusondolya newsletter
|1992||– Preparation for the pope’s visit
– Acquisition of more land from Kasese town council;
Note: From 1989 – 1993; the Diocese was sending only one major seminarian every year for Philosophical Studies.
Sem. Kule Frumentius Ngalyabuyira; 1989
Sem. Peter Mubunga Basaliza; 1990
Sem. Tusingwire Thomas; 1991
Sem. Sunday Augustine Masereka; 1992
Sem. Kule Kojo Francis; 1993
|1993||– Pope’s visit (John Paul II) to Kasese
– Blessing of Bishop’s house by Pope John Paul II
– St. Augustine’s CTC Nsenyi construction started
– 1st –intake of St. John’s Minor Seminary
– Arrival of the Fidei Donum Priests (priests on loan)
– Youth Center in Kinyamaseke started
– Civic Education program implemented by the Justice and Peace Commission
– Monitoring of Elections by Justice and Peace Commission.
|1995||– Agro-Forestry Project started in the diocese
– Civic education and Monitoring of elections by Justice and peace commission
– Registration of the seminary with ministry of education and sports
– Construction of additional infrastructure
– Kasese Micro-Finance started
– Some secondary schools were established (Uganda Martyrs –Kaberere, Holy Trinity)
– Partnership with Kilembe Mines Hospital
|1996||– Acquisition of the Seminary UNEB center number for St. John’s Seminary
– ADF attack on the diocese
– Disaster Desk established
|1997||– Ordination of the second priest (Fr.Kule Frumentius Ngalyabuyira) by the Bishop, and Deacon Peter Mubunga Basaliza
– ADF attack on St. John’s Seminary: abduction of the 19 minor Seminarians, and 2 workers and burning of vehicles in August
– ADF attacks in Kyalhumba parish
|1998||Ordination of the third priest (Fr. Peter Basaliza Mubunga) and Deacon Tusingwire Thomas
– Obituary of two priests: Fr.Byakuyamba Louis and Fr. Baguma John
|1999||– Ordination of the first Missionary priest (Fr.Otto Kato)
– Ordination of the 4th Diocesan priest (Fr.Tusingwire Thomas) and Deacon Sunday Augustine Masereka
– 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Diocese
– More capacity Building (Fr.Kule Frumentius Ngalyabuyira (Masters in BA (MBA)
– Ibanda parish was erected
– Over ten first entrants of St.John’s Minor Seminary joined the major seminary
– Departure of the Medical Mission Sisters who were managing Kasanga PHC/CBHC
– Arrival of the Apostles of Jesus in Ibanda
– Arrival of the Little Sisters of the presentation
– All 14 S4 candidates at St.John’s seminary passed in 1st grade.
|2000||– Centenary Bank – Kasese Branch opened
– Visit of the Nuncio to Uganda (His Excellency Christopher Pierre).
– Ordination to priesthood of Fr.Sunday Augustine Masereka and Deacon Kule Kojo Francis
– Jubilee year celebrations
– 1st Seminarian went for studies in Rome ( Fr.Baluku Sunday Patrick)
|2001||– More capacity Building; Fr. Peter Mubunga Basaliza for further studies in Rome / Biblical Theology and Spiritual Theology).
– Civic Education and Election Monitoring by Justice and peace Commission.
– St. Francis care and Justice Society formed in the Diocese (Fr.Peter Mubunga Basaliza, Fr. Thomas Tusingwire and Fr.Sunday Augustine Masereka); started helping poor and needy children in secondary schools and Tertiary Institutions to date with the help of the “Z” Nuni – Frauen, Bad Sacringen in Germany led by Trugard Klasle.
|2002||– Departure of the white fathers.
– Ordination to priesthood of three priests (Fr. Modest Kasenyangwe, Fr.Muhindo Vincent, Fr. Thembo Remegius)
– More capacity Building ( Fr. Sunday Augustine Masereka for further studies in Rome ( social institutional communication)
– Return of Fr. Frumentius Kule Ngalyabuyira to Uganda.
|2003||– Hofokam was launched after Kasese Micro Finance Company merged with sister companies in the dioceses of Fort – Portal and Hoima.
– No ordination to priesthood
– Ordination of 3 deacons
– More capacity Building (Fr.Tusingwire Thomas) in Notre Dame University America for Liturgical Theology
|2004||– 4 priests were ordained-Fr. John Baptist Kule, Fr. Kirungi Joseph and Fr. Viito Kule (3 Diocesan priests and 1 Capuchin priest)|
|2005||– DOK animates Namugongo Martyrs Day
– Kasese – Kampala Catholic Community formed, with Fr.Kule John Baptist as the first chaplain
– Three priests were ordained ( Fr.Baluku Sunday Patrick, Fr.Bahati Bwambale Laurent, Fr. Muna Walter)
– Ordination of Deacons ( Fr.Mbusa Joseph and Fr. Joseph Syathetha)
– Return of Fr.Peter Mubunga Basaliza from Rome to Uganda.
– More capacity Building ( Fr.Kule John Baptist) sent to Uganda Martyrs University, Rubaga)
|2006||– ordination of 2 priests at Bukangara parish (Fr.Mbusa Joseph and Fr. Syathetha)
– Resumed Omusondolya News Letter
– St.Augustine’s CTC Nsenyi received the first priest as a Director ( Fr.Peter Basaliza Mubunga)
– Bridge for Peace America came to Kasese for Evangelization led by Ed and Annette Eivary, and later funded by the Australian Team.
|2007||– Ordination to priesthood of the first students of St. John’s Minor Seminary at St. John’s Seminary Kiburara (Fr. David Kiiza and Fr.Bwambale Mayani Patrick)
– Return of Fr. Sunday Augustine Masereka from Rome to Uganda
– Bridge for peace begin to support orphans in the Diocese (2 children per parish) in secondary schools.
|2008||– Kasese Guide Radio (KGR) started by Fr. Sunday Augustine Masereka was launched
– Deacon Onizimus was struck dead by lightening in Mundongo Catholic Church sacristy
– More capacity Building ( Fr.Kule Kojo Francis ) for Maters in Education – USA
– Establishment of Mbarara Ecclesiastical province; Diocese of Kasese became a Suffrogan of Mbarara Ecclesiastical province and ceased to be part of Kampala Arch-Diocese.
– Christians of Kasese visited the Diocese of Butembo – Beni Diocese for centenary celebrations.
|2009||– First Synod of the Diocese was held
– 20th anniversary celebration
– Further capacity building; Fr. Modest Masereka for further studies in Pastoral Theology
– Ordination to priesthood of Fr.Job Syathamira, Fr. Francis Asimwe and Fr.Ubaldo Muhindo
– Ordination to Deaconate of Fr. John Mabunda and Fr.Richard Businge Sausi.
|2010||– Bukangara parish was erected|
|2011||– Diocese of Kasese received land in Kampala
– Bishop Egidio Nkaijanabwo blessed the land in Kampala
|2012||– Kakone parish was erected
– More capacity Building; Fr. Mabunda John was sent for further studies (Tanzania, social communication)
|2013||– The Diocese of Kasese, with the support and help of Bridge for Peace America and Australia started a Bridge for peace childrens’ Home, Diocese of Kasese
– Kitswamba parish was erected
– Kasese Kampala Catholic Community led mass in Namugongo (MEPA-Members of Mbarara Ecclesiastical province Association)
|Diocese of kasese gets a second Bishop
– Diocese of kasese clocked 25 years and prepares for the Jubilee.
– Bishop Egidio Nkaijanabwo makes 25 years as a Bishop
– Presentation of the idea to begin a University to the Clergy
– Draft of policies ( finance, land, Human Resource Policy)
– Formation of a committee for a diocesan hospital
-Ordination of 2 priests (Fr Ponsiano Masereka and Fr. Salvin) 5 deacons (Dn Jimmy Masereka, Dn Fedius Bwambale, Dn Leonary Sumbuko, Dn Joseph Tumusime and Dn Cleto William)
– 2 priests go for further studies in outside countries ie Fr. Laurent Bahati- London and Fr.
Alex Kamanzi in Italy
– Vicar General goes for Sabatical Year in Italy (Fr. Landus Bwambale)
– Creation of two new parishes ie Kibatu parish headed by Fr.Kiiza David as Parish Priest and Fr. Bamuhiga Pascal and Kyabikre parish headed by fr. Emmanuel Kule as parish priest and Fr. Fedius Bwambale as Curate.
– Ordination of 6 priests and 2 deacons namely (Fr. Leonary sumbuko, Fr. Joseph Tumusime, Fr. Feduis Bwambale, Fr. William Cleto, Fr.Jimmy Masereka, Fr.John Tsongo) and (Dn Sunday Baluku and Dn Aurthr Ssembajja)
MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS IN 25 YEARS
- Erection of a Diocese (DOK)
- Appointment and ordination of the 1st and 2nd Bishop
- Ordination of priests and deacons (from 13 diocesan priests in 1990 to 39 priests in 2013)
- Establishment of the minor seminary-St. John’s Evangelist seminary
- Establishment of St. Augustine’s Catechist Training and Pastoral Centre, Nsenyi
- Establishment of schools (— primary, —- secondary, — colleges)
- Establishment of parishes from 5-10
- Provision of sisters and Brothers (from 22 in 1990 to 43 in 2013).
- Establishment of health centres (Kyalhumba and Kambu)
- Exit of some Missionaries (in 1990 there were 7 missionary priests but by 2013 only 2 were remaining)
- Capacity building programmes for the priests in peace; Further Training of priests
- Establishment of a radio (KGR) and a newsletter (Omusondolya)
- Establishment of commissions after the Synod (Health commissions, Doctrinal and Liturgical).
- First Synod was held
- Preparation of faith through Catholic Charismatic Renewal and other lay Apostolate Movements
- Increase in the number of Christians (from 114,822 in 1990 to 303,402 in 2013)
- Acquisition of land in Kampala
- Recognition of Kampala – Kasese Catholic Community
- Pope visit to Kasese
- Acquisition of land in other parishes
- Active participation in Civic and Election Monitoring
- Humanitarian assistance
- Establishment and housing of the financial institutions
- Centenary Rural Development Bank, SITV, Hofokam, Pax Insurance were established
- Livelihood has been improved
- There has been Human Resource Development (Number of graduates has increased)
- Orphanage was established. The poor and the needy students have been assisted
- There was ground breaking for the new Cathedral
MAIN FUNCTIONS IN THE DIOCESE
|Vicar General||Msgr. Landas Bwambale|
|Chancellor||Rev. Fr. Expedito Masereka Kisembo|
|Treasurer||Fr. Augustine Sunday Masereka|
|Pastoral Coordinator||Fr. Modest Masereka Kasenyangwe|
|Secretary for Education||Fr. Joseph Mbusa|
|Religious Education Advisor||Sr. Consolata Mbabazi|
|Lay Apostolate Chaplain||Fr. Modest Masereka Kasenyangwe|
|Medical Services Coordinator||Sr. Merceline Biira|
|Youth Chaplain||Fr. Peter Masereka|
|Vocations’ Director||Fr. Vincent Muhindo|
|Director of PMS||Fr. Richard Sausi Businge|
|Catechists’ Coordinator||Fr. Blaise Maathe|
|Womens’ Desk Coordinator||Kobusinge Annet|
|Social Services and Development (CARITAS)||Fr. Remegius Thembo|
|Social Communications Coordinator||Fr. Augustine Sunday Masereka|
|Justice and Peace Coordinator||Fr. Peter Basaliza Mubunga|
|Pastoral commission||Rev. Fr. Modest Masereka Kasenyangwe|
|Education Commission||Rev. Fr. Joseph Mbusa|
|Doctrine and Liturgy||Rev. Fr. Patrick Sunday Baluku|
|Planning and Economic||Rev. Fr. Augustine Sunday Masereka|
|Caritas Commission||Rev. Fr. Remegius Thembo|
|Social Communications||Rev. Fr. Augustine Sunday Masereka|
|Health commission||Rev. Sr. Merceline Biira|
|Justice and Peace||Rev. Fr. Peter Mubunga Basaliza|
Fr. Kambale BalinandinRapheal
Fr. Maathe Blaise
BOARD OF CONSULTORS
Msgr. Landas Bwambale
Fr. Expedito Kisembo Masereka
Fr. Asensio Buhaka Kamala
Fr. Remegius Thembo
Fr. Richard Sausi Businge
Fr. Augustine Sunday Masereka
Fr. Joseph Kirungi
Fr. Francis Kojo Kule
Fr. Vincent Muhindo
Fr. Modest Masereka Kasenyangwe
Kabuyiri Divine Mercy Centre
P. O. Box 75, KASESE, Uganda
Kasese Guide Radio (KGR), Omusondolya