KAMPALA. A Ugandan Catholic priest, Fr Bob Binta, died in Phoenix, Arizona, early on Monday, a colleague says.
According to Fr Benedict Onegiu, himself a Ugandan priest also serving in the same Diocese of Phoenix, Fr Binta had been battling cancer for the past two years.
The parish where he served notes on its website that the deceased has been on “medical leave”.
“He passed on at 12:30am on Sunday night, Arizona time (10:30am Uganda time on Monday),” says Fr Onegiu, speaking by telephone from Phoenix.
The late Binta hailed from Fort Portal and previously worked as the Financial Administrator for his home diocese before relocating to the United States about 10 year ago.
According to information on the website of the Parish of St. Benedict where he served, Binta joined there as a Parochial Administrator in July of 2013 from St. Paul’s Parish in Moon Valley where he, for 6 years was an Associate Pastor.
The Parish says Fr Binta, one of 12 children, remained close to his siblings and other relatives and he “dearly miss [ed] being away from them” during his time in the United States.
“In his spare time you can find Fr Bob (Binta) jogging in his neighborhood or spending quality time with a great book,” according to information on the Parish website.
In a telephone conversation on Monday, Fr Onegiu said a decision on whether to repatriate Binta’s remains for interment in Uganda will depend on consultations with superiors in the Diocese of Phoenix.
Earlier on Monday, Fr Onegiu posted on his facebook that: “Remember to pray for the repose of the soul of one of our Ugandan priest[s] by the name Fr Robert Binta...Fr Bob passed on at 12:30am. May his soul rest in eternal peace. We remember his family both here (in the US) and those at home (in Uganda). [Further] arrangements will be communicated later.”