Tuesday January 16 2018

Rome looks into evidence leading to Ngobya’s sainthood

Believers pray at Msgr Aloysius Ngobya’s gra

Believers pray at Msgr Aloysius Ngobya’s grave at Kitovu Cathedral, Masaka District in June 2015. Masaka Diocese wants Ngobya (inset), made a saint. FILE PHOTO   

By CHRISTOPHER KISEKKA

MASAKA- Christians in Masaka Diocese and Uganda at large have a reason to smile following a new development in the beatification and canonisation process of Msgr Aloysius Ngobya and Sister Amedeo Byabali.

Information from Vatican indicates that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints (CCS) has started analysing evidence that was presented as the Masaka Diocesan chancellor Rev Dr Edward Ssekabanja reveals.

The CCS is a congregation of the Roman Curia that oversees the complex process that leads to the canonisation of saints, passing through the steps of a declaration of "heroic virtues" and beatification.

After preparing a case, including the approval of miracles, the CCS presents it to the Pope, who decides whether or not to proceed with beatification or canonisation.

“I am glad to inform you that Msgr. Ngobya and Sister Amedeo cause has moved to a new level as the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has started a study of the validity of the cause of the duo,” Fr Ssekabanja said while addressing pilgrims at Ngobya’s grave at Kitovu at the weekend.

Every year, pilgrims converge at the place in memory of the deceased servant of God.

Dr Ssekabanja says the CCS sitting at Urban University, Rome Vatican began with evidence presented on Sister Amedeo on January 12, and on January 18, the same congregation would again convene at Gregorian University to consider that for Msgr Ngobya.

The Postulation for the Cause of the Beatification and Canonization of Msgr Ngobya and Sister Amedeo received many testimonies and postulatory letters from different people.

Accounts of thousands of favours attributed to the duo’s intercession were also received, showing the extent of private devotion to them which were forwarded to Rome in 2016 by the Masaka Diocesan Bishop, John Baptist Kaggwa in a ceremony which took place at Kitovu Cathedral.

Dr Ssekabanja noted that the congregation headed by Msgr Robert Sarno who is working closely with many student experts will critically look at and study the presented evidence after which it would give a decree of the validity of the cause.

In the same development, Dr Ssekabanja said there is a need to pray hard through the intercession of the two servants of God for an instantaneous, permanent, complete and scientifically unexplainable miracle.

“Extraordinary miracle of that kind is one of the requirements which Rome will base on to declare the two (Sr Amedeo and Msgr Ngobya) saints,” he said.

The duo, whose canonisation is impatiently waited by the believers, served the Church in different capacities for quite a long time before their demise.

Upon receiving accumulated testimonies of people who claim to have received miracles after praying through the departed duo, the Church in 2012 petitioned Rome; which also cleared them to start gathering evidence towards their beatification and eventual canonisation.

In April 2012, the Church was cleared to begin due investigations which started with the exhumation of their remains and examination to build a case for the priests’ canonization.

According to Fr Henry Kasule, a Msgr Ngobya cause promoter, this is a great achievement since many submissions take years to be considered.

“Some submissions can take up to twenty years, but Msgr Ngobya’s evidence has been considered just after one and a half years, this might be a sign to show that these people may be declared sooner than later,” he said.

If the two are successfully elevated, they will be the third group of people to pass through this process from Uganda after the Ugandan Martyrs at Namugongo and Blessed Daudi Okello and Jildo Irwa from northern Uganda.

The Church in Uganda also fronted other canonization candidates including Mother Kevin, Bro Amans Delmas and Fr. Simeon Lourdel (Mapeera).
editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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