Priesthood dream cut short

Sunday September 1 2019



Gone. Rev Deacon Andrew Brian Mayega

Gone. Rev Deacon Andrew Brian Mayega 

By PHIONAH NASSANGA

The Rev Deacon Andrew Brian Mayega’s life was cut short on August 2, a week to his ordination as a priest at Rubaga Cathedral.
On September 2, 2011, Mayega was enrolled at St Mbaaga Major Seminary, Ggaba. For eight years, he pursued Theology, preparing him for priesthood.
Waiting for the day he would join the Seminary, Mayega kept posting the count down on his facebook wall. On August 2, 2011 his post read, “I am glad I have very few days to land in my New Jerusalem, the holy land.”
Exactly eight years after this post, with just a few days to his ordination God called Mayega to a different Jerusalem.

Growing up
Born to Alphonse Kambugu and Flavia Nakawoya of Kawempe, Mayega was the fifth born of eight siblings.
Agnes Namayega, an elder sister to Mayega, says just like most children, her brother was naughty but obedient to his family. Once asked to remain quiet, he would never report his siblings for any wrongdoings.
“He always kept quiet when asked to,” Namayega recalls. Most of the time Mayega kept to himself and rarely shared his thoughts. “You would hardly know what his next step would be and he seemed secretive about his prayer life other than attending church with him,” she adds.
Dorothy Namuyiga, Mayega’s a grandmother, says her grandson left his parents’ home in 2009 to stay with her in Nakawuka, Wakiso District. For that reason, most of his friends thought Nakawuka was his ancestral home.
“Whenever he talked of home, this was the place and on many occasions he came along with friends. I will miss those moments because they were filled with love and joy,” Namuyiga says.
On joining the seminary, Mayega rarely came home.
“He occasionally checked on me and we last met in June. He had come to remind me of his ordination,” she recollects.
The prayerful 29-year-old deacon paid attention to his beloved ones.
“My grandson would never leave home without praying for me. I remember him asking God to bless me with good health to witness his ordination. For the time we were together, he treated me like a queen,” she reveals.

A step to priesthood
Namayega says her brother’s decision to join the seminary was a surprise to many. After graduating with a diploma in architectural engineering, Mayega went on to apply to St Mbaaga Major Seminary Ggaba.
“He loved delving into his faith. I remember each time I told him I was not feeling well, he would ask me to recite the rosary, adding that all would be well,” she recalls.
On August 11, 2018, Mayega was ordained deacon at Rubaga Cathedral.

Last moments
Namayega says for a long time, Mayega complained of an itchy throat. Thinking it was cough and flu, he visited the hospital. However, the itching became persistent. She says upon examination the doctors could not find the problem. Assuming he was overstraining his voice, the doctors recommended a voice rest.
“In July, the doctors stopped him from speaking on phone, singing and staying in crowds. With time he lost his voice and could not speak,” she recalls.
During this time, he only communicated via WhatsApp. Looking forward to his ordination, on July 29, Mayega visited his mother. Even then his voice was only a whisper.
“I think it was straining, but he never complained of any pain. Perhaps he suffered silently,” the sister says.
Hoping that God would perform a miracle before his ordination, on the evening of August 1, Mayega went to Bukalango Prayer Mountain, Hoima Road. Namayega says it is claimed that after prayers with the nuns on August 2, the deceased was able to utter a few words. However, minutes later he asked for a jacket and was gasping for air. A doctor was called upon, but could not handle his condition. Rushed to Nsambya hospital, Namayega says he was pronounced dead on arrival.
“The news of my brother’s death came in as a punch in the gut,” she says.

Cause of death
Presiding over the funeral mass at Rubaga Cathedral on August 5, Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, said Mayega had died of a cancerous tumour, which had grown close to his lungs.
“I requested the doctors at Nsambya hospital to do a post-mortem. In their two-page report, they confirmed Mayega had suffered a cancerous tumour that had grown near his lungs. When the tumour burst, it blocked the movement of oxygen in his body,” Archbishop Lwanga revealed.

Memories
The Rev Fr Emmanuel Turyasingura Ateenyi, a classmate of Mayega at St Mbaaga, says Mayega was warm, joyful, active and nice.
“He joked about anything and loved playing basketball.”
He made those around him laugh and smile despite what they were going through.
Spiritually, he meant business.
“He loved adoration and meditation,” he reveals, adding, “I have grief not only for what he was, but for what he was going to be.”
He loved God and had a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Padre Pio. “Jokingly, he always said, ‘I want to die early before I spoil what I have built’,” Namayega reveals. The Rev Deacon Mayega was laid to rest on August 5, at Rugbaga Cathedral Cemetery.

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some of mayega’s facebook posts

July 31, 2014
“In this battle I am fighting I need not to use my hands and feet; actually all my efforts and hopes are placed in only one basket and that is God.”
March 6, 2013
“I feel guilty for all that is going through the lives of many of my friends. I have always thought I ought to do something in order to give all of them a smile. I know I can bring a smile on all faces and I am going to do it, because this is what I am a joy, peace love and hope giver to all God’s race. I am in church feeling the real presence of God. How I wish I die right now and go straight to heaven.”

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