Why we pray for the dead

Sunday December 1 2019

The evangelical Chior from Christ the King led

The evangelical Chior from Christ the King led the celebrations. Below. Rev Alexandra Mugalasi during holy communion. Kizito Ssekitoleko, the cordinator of the society activities during the mass and part of the congregation. Photo by David Stanley Mukooza 

By David S Mukooza

The Catholic Church dedicated the month of November to praying for the dead and the souls in purgatory. And it is to this effect that the old students association of St Mathias Kalemba SSS Nazigo, Mpigi came up with an idea of praying for the departed souls of those that went through the school such as students, teachers and other workers.

According to Ssekitoleko Kizito, the coordinator and interim chairman of the association, they decided to make it an annual commemoration because St Mathias Kalemba is a Catholic-founded school and thus, every November they choose a day to come together and pray.

Rev Fr Alexander Mugalasi, the main celebrant of this year’s Mass that was held at Christ the King Church, Kampala, also doubles as an old student of the school. He said the main aim for the prayers is to pray for the souls in purgatory and not those in heaven and neither those in hell.
“The souls in hell do not need our prayers because they are eternally condemned.”

He said those in heaven have reached the Promised Land and do not need any prayers. However, the souls in purgatory need our prayers because purgatory is a place of purification. The souls that go there have sinned and repented but the scars of the sins they committed are still haunting them therefore praying for them can help them transform.

He also encouraged people to always participate in prayer specifically Mass because one Mass celebrated while alive is equal to 100 of them celebrated when dead. He urgued the old students to always pray to God because there is power in the word of God. He even tried to mention some of the moments they had in school and being the people they are now really called for a celebration.

He, however, thanked the organisers for the wonderful thought because in most cases when burial is done people do other things and totally forget the dead.
Peter Wasswa, a former student (2001- 2004), said this is a good gesture and he has no reason to miss. He says this is the time they as old students rekindle the good times they shared with these people.


“Some of these people were our good teachers for example Madam Naguddi who was very dear to me when we were in O- Level, she was a good History teacher and I enjoyed her lessons, therefore, coming here to pray for her is a good gesture because I believe she contributed to what I am today”

The school administration which was represented by the ongoing students who also presented a communication from the head master, thanked the organisers for keeping the name of the school pushing. He said the prayers are for the dead but the school is also prayed for. Coming together as old students rejuvenates memories about the school.

According to Ssekitoleko Kizito, the prayers are annual and this year these were the 6th annual prayers for the dead. He also thanked the evangelical choir the choir, that sings in the 9 o’clock Mass for the good singing.

He, however reminded the old students, that the association has many other activities coming up, including the annual football gala that is played every last Saturday of the month and the annual fundraising dinner whose proceeds go to the construction of the new school gate.

This project was spotted and was agreed on by the association members and fundraising is going on in all other ways. St Mathias Kalemba is in Kayunga District.