Church kicks off drive to develop site for first Catholic missionaries
What you need to know:
- Every February, Catholics from various parts of the diocese throng Bumangi Catholic Parish where Bugoma site is situated, to commemorate the first docking of missionaries.
Masaka Diocese has started mobiliising Catholics to make financial contribution towards developing Bugoma Catholic Site into a tourism site.
The site located on Buggala Main Island, Kalangala District, is where the first catholic missionaries Father Siméon Lourdel Pere (Mapeera) and Brother Amans Delmas (Amansi) made a stopover before arriving at Kigungu landing site in Entebbe on February 17, 1879.
Speaking to Christians at Bugoma site on Sunday, Masaka Diocesan Bishop, Severus Jjumba, said it was disappointing that the site has remained underdeveloped over the years despite having potential to attract tourists like the Namugongo Shrine does.
“The missionaries did their part to bring Catholicism here, it is our turn now to make this important site in our religion known by erecting a huge monument here like that at Kigungu, Entebbe which can attract tourists,” he said
The prelate said the diocese would soon come up with a clear budget for the project.
Every February, Catholics from various parts of the diocese throng Bumangi Catholic Parish where Bugoma site is situated, to commemorate the first docking of missionaries.
Mr Livingstone Njuba, one the caretakers of Bugoma Catholic site, said both Fr Lourdel and Brother Amans first docked at Bugoma landing site to conduct prayers and repair their wrecked boat before proceeding to Kigungu in Entebbe.
“Stories in our archives here clearly tell us that the two catholic missionaries first docked here at Bugoma before they proceeded to Entebbe,” Mr Njuba said
"Like other places, Bugoma should also be considered in our history and developed by the Catholic fraternity like we have done to other sites,” he added
The diocese is also in the process of developing Birinzi Prayer Centre in Kalungu District, which is the birthplace of St Charles Lwanga.
At Kigungu ,where Fr Lourdel and Brother Amans landed, a monument was constructed by Missionaries of Africa where the two belonged. The monument depicts the two missionaries, in white, kneeling and humbled in prayer. The memorabilia metallic placard is affixed on a concrete and half bricks and just below it a cross and further below the word “Thy Kingdom Come” taken from the Lord’ Prayer.
On right is Brother Amans, humbled in prayer with a travel case besides him and just besides the bag is a hut; that perhaps shielded him from the tropical heat.
The memorials are kept in metallic hedge, on raised ground and then just below are stones that separate the lake from the monument. From this side of the lake you can see both the monument and the Church. The Church is covered in blue iron sheets, windows and beautified with small bricks. This beauty in concrete forms the reason for Catholicism in Uganda and the cradle of the faithful who visit this site every February from within and across the borders.