Delivering his sermon to Christians at St. Paul Church of Uganda in Wii-gweng village, Bishop Ogwal said he felt hesitant to accept the change of plan. He disclosed to Christians that he felt that the prayers should have taken place at Namirembe Cathedral, the provincial cathedral of the Church of Uganda after being moved from the martyrs’ home village in Wii-gweng.
Rt. Rev Benoni Ogwal-Abwang, the former Bishop
of Northern Uganda Diocese, says that he was not comfortable with the decision
to celebrate the 44th anniversary of the martyrdom of St Janani Luwum at the
State House, Entebbe.
Since 2015, the national prayers commemorating
Janan Luwum have been taking place at St Paul Church of Uganda Wii-gweng in
Mucwini Sub-county, Kitgum district where his remains are buried. However, this year’s
national prayers took place at State House Entebbe
on Tuesday because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Delivering his sermon to Christians
at St. Paul Church of Uganda in Wii-gweng village, Bishop Ogwal said he felt
hesitant to accept the change of plan. He disclosed to Christians that
he felt that the prayers should have taken place at Namirembe Cathedral, the
provincial cathedral of the Church of Uganda after being moved from the
martyrs’ home village in Wii-gweng.
Bishop Ogwal, however, notes that he reconsidered the matter
after being “guided” by the Holy Spirit.
//Cue in: “An onongo yub
Cue out:…rubanga oti tice.”//
“…I wasn’t comfortable with the
commemoration being shifted to Statehouse Entebbe, I have to be honest, I
wondered how the prayers were shifted away from here in wii-gweng to Entebbe,
at least it should have been at Namirembe. However, the Holy Spirit guided me
that today is Janani Luwum’s day and anywhere can be used to Worship the Lord.
So I’m happy now, if you are among those that had the same feeling, open your
heart and leave God to do his work…”
Bishop Benoni did not clarify his discomfort with the
decision to commemorate the prayers at State House Entebbe. Archbishop Luwum
was killed on February 16, 1977, in Kampala during the reign of former Uganda
President Idi Amin. The Archbishop was by then an open and sharp critic of
Amin’s regime, which was characterized by dictatorship, extrajudicial killings,
censorship of free speech and economic hardships among others.
Before his murder, Luwum had delivered several protest
letters to President Idi Amin outlining discontent on his excessive human
rights abuses, a move that irked the former President. Bishop Ogwal who became the second Bishop of Northern Uganda
Diocese after Luwum’s tenure between 1974 to 1989, says that he wouldn’t have
been the person he is if it wasn’t because of the Martyr.
Ogwal says he first met Archbishop Luwum who saved him in 1959.
//Cue in: “Ka neni pe…
Cue out:…bot yesu watin.”//
He says Archbishop Luwum stood as a figure of truth and
fought for justice and urged Christians to teach their children to emulate the
life of St Janani Luwum.
//Cue in: “opwony lutino wa…
Cue out:…obed ma opong.”//
In his speech, the Retired
Northern Uganda Bishop Nelson Onono Onweng challenged leaders in Acholi
Sub-region to emulate Luwum. Onono-Onweng is the only surviving person who witnessed
the corpse of the former Archbishop.
He says St. Janani Luwum stood on truth and a mutual
relationship for development, arguing that if the leaders in the region can
emulate his life, the region would develop.
//Cue in: “Lanyut ango ma….
Cue out:..obi loke oo.”//
The Leader of Opposition in Parliament Betty Aol Ocan and
Gulu District Woman Member of Parliament also reiterates that the life of
Archbishop Luwum should set the pace for people to peacefully coexist.
//Cue in: “Life has been…
Cue out:…the whole world.”//
The anniversary prayers at Wii-gweng climaxed with excitement
among the clergy and Christians after realizing a rainbow had circled the sun
over the grave of the martyr. News of the ‘miraculous’ sighting in
the sky known as hallo was first broken by Okot P’Bitek, head of Laity Kitgum
This is the second time that Hallo has been sighted during
prayers to commemorate the martyrdom of Luwum in Kitgum District. In 2018, the
“miraculous” rainbow also appeared as the former Church of Uganda Archbishop
Stanley Ntagali conducted the homily attracting ululation and praises from
thousands of Christians who had thronged the venue.
//Cue in: "Today we even...
Cue out:...in this world."//
About a hallo?
A sun halo is caused by refraction, reflection, and
dispersion of light through ice particles suspended within thin, wispy,
high-altitude cirrus or cirrostratus clouds.