BY EVA KYOMUGISHA
BY EVA KYOMUGISHA
By 10:00am, family and friends of those to be ordained had started to gather. Most of these had been waiting for the down pour that had greeted them that morning to subside but a few braved the rain and joined the second service of the day that was already in progress.
As the second service ended, there was a bustle for the two entrances as those outside tried to make their way in to get the best seats. This however caused a bit of a jam as those inside could not get out.
The ushers at All Saints Cathedral were actively guiding the people to their seats and calm was eventually restored. The arrival of the choir that was leading a large procession of soon-to-be-ordained clergy as well as the bishop’s entourage seemed to boost the mood of the congregation.
After a brief round of choruses of praise and worship led by the choir, the Provost, Rev Dr Rebecca Nyegenye took to the lectern to welcome the chief guest and introduce the distinguished guests. At this point, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev Stanley Ntagali, took up the microphone and informed the audience of the fact that the archbishop elect’s son was one of those to be ordained. “Many of you were not aware about this. His name is Moses Kisakye and today, he will be made a deacon,” Ntagali said.
The Bible verse was read and the preacher for the day, Rev Can Frederick Baalwa took the stage and expressed the fact that he was nervous to be preaching in front of the archbishop and the archbishop-elect.
He then delivered a heart-warming message on the value of being the disciples of the Lord. “It is a joy to be a part of the Lord’s work and I commend those who have decided to take this initiative to join the church,” Baalwa said.
He then emphasised the need for the audience and the soon-to-be-priests to ensure that they do what is right.
“Sometimes doing the right things leads to greater rewards than not doing anything. I once had to check on a patient in Nsambya Hospital but when I went back outside, my car had been stolen. However, some of my parishioners collected money and bought me a car that I am currently using. The reason they gave was because of my good deeds,” Baalwa explained.
At the end of the sermon, the ordination ceremony officially commenced with the archbishop presiding over the event. A total of 24 people were on December 28 ordained into different capacities of the church. They include two members of staff of Uganda Christian University. The event was graced by the Archbishop-elect, Bishop Samuel Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu.
The first group were the canons. Four people had qualified for this. Among them was Dr Ruth Senyonyi, the wife to the Vice Chancellor UCU, Dr John Senyonyi.
After being presented to the audience and receiving no disapproval from them, the group then took the oath jointly which was keenly observed by the archbishop. They were then dressed in canons’ robes and seated by the provost accompanied by their husbands and wives.
As the second group that was the soon-to-be deacons took to the stage, the archbishop invited the Diocesan Chancellor, Mr Naboth Muhairwe, to take up the role of seeing to the legality of the ritual.
“This part involves a legal aspect and therefore has to be done carefully,” Ntagali explained.
Once again the group which had about 14 members who included Dr John Mulindwa Kitayimbwa, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, was asked to face the audience for public screening followed by each of the members individually taking the oath.
The diocesan chancellor then led them to sign official documents that officially made them deacons while the provost adjusted their sashes to fit the role.
The third group was made up of six members including Rev Lovincer Katana, one of the assistant chaplains at the university, who were being made priests. They two had a legal aspect involved and therefore the diocesan chancellor presided over their ordination.
The last group were the clergy who were transferring from one church to All Saints’ Cathedral, among whom was Rev Samson Malisa, the assistant chaplain at the university.
Ululations and hugs were accompanied to each member as each of them was declared into the service of the Lord. Following the conclusion of the swearing in, all those in the last three groups were individually prayed for by the priests and tasked with fulfilling their duties.
At the end of this long and slow ordination service, the archbishop made a few closing remarks in which he congratulated those who had been ordained and announced that he would be officially handing over, come March 2020.
In an interview with The Standard, Dr John Mulindwa Kitayimbwa explained that the call to become a priest had been there for a while but he had been putting it off. “I urged my wife to become a priest but I still did not answer my call which had started while I was in secondary school,” Kitayimbwa explained.
He added that his wish to become a tent maker was inspired by the Apostle Paul in the Bible who preached the word of God without pay. “Paul was a tent maker and this is how he made his living. It is where the name comes from,” Kitayimbwa said.
Canon Dr Ruth Senyonyi on the other hand explained how happy she was to have got the rank. “I hope that God will use me to change other people,” she stated.
Mr. David Mugawe, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Finance and Administration, stated that the ordination of members of the UCU staff goes to justify our Christian heritage. “I hope that it will inspire more people to answer the calling,” he said.