Former Moroto Diocese Bishop Henry Apaloryamam Ssentongo was on Monday afternoon laid to rest at Bukalasa Minor Seminary cemetery in Kalungu District.
The somber mood got heightened at 2:45pm as Bishop Ssentongo’s body was lowered to the grave, bringing to an end to the life of a priest who vowed to serve God until his death.
Bishop Ssentongo died last Wednesday at St. Francis Nsambya Hospital in Kampala at the age of 83.
Moroto Diocesan Bishop Damiano Guzzetti, who led the Mass, said the deceased was very humble, jolly and good servant of God.
“The deceased has left a legacy and we are trying hard to put into practice what he used to do,” he said
Bishop Guzzetti said before Bishop Ssentongo was posted to Karamoja sub region as bishop, the Karimojongos were poor but he preached against poverty and laziness and many have since become hard working people.
“The Karimojongs believed in him, they started working hard for their families after rediscovering themselves,” he noted.
Bishop Anthony Zziwa, the Chairman of Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEF) said the Church had lost a very important person who used to advise UEF on many issues.
Rev Fr Paul Ssegawa, the brother to the deceased, stunned mourners when revealed that Bishop Ssentongo never possessed a telephone and for one to see him, he had to find him either at his residence or at Bikira Parish.
“That exhibited his simplicity in life .When the Episcopal conference surprised him with a mobile phone, he accepted it but donated it to someone else because he never believed in material things, he never wanted anything expensive in his entire life,” he recalls.
He said the deceased warned them against laying wreaths on his casket, but advised them to collect all the money for the wreaths and donate it to the needy.
Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, the vice president described the deceased as a fighter who gave protection to all the people he served as priest.
Besides his priestly duties Bishop Ssentongo had a number of special responsibilities in his long life. He has been Chairperson, Management Committee of St. Theresa Primary School, Bwanda, Masaka, Chairperson, Board of Governors of Nkozi Teacher Training College, chairperson, Board of Directors of Kulika Charitable Trust Uganda, and a member, Board of Trustees of the Verona Fathers Congregation in Uganda. He is also one of the founders of Centenary Rural Development Bank Ltd and one of the founders of Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi.