Christian have been urged to put their faith in action. This call was made on Saturday by Fr. John Byamukama, Parish Priest of St. Mary’s Bukinda Parish in Rukiga district while preaching during Mass presided over by Rt. Rev. Callist Rubaramira at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Kitanga Parish in Kitanga Deanery. This was during the fundraising ceremony of Bishop’s Annual Appeal Fund (BAAF) by Rukiga District which was aimed at raising funds for the establishment of St. Ignatius University, Kabale. Fr. Byamukama John said people had gathered to celebrate the gift of faith, that was to bear fruit which is St. Ignatius university. This gift will not be realized if we do not work. God called Abraham, and with faith he left everything. When God calls, he gives authority. Among the gifts of the Holy Spirit, there is gift of faith. When God created Adam, he gave him faith which was to manifest in his authority to rule the world. He gave us wisdom and knowledge which we have used to put up schools: Primary, Secondary and now we are setting up a university as a fulfilment of God’s command.
Our being here today confirms that faith without action is dead as St. James writes in his letter. we have gathered here to show our faith. And our faith will be fulfilled when we have put it into action. That’s why we are mobilizing resources to put up St. Ignatius University – Fr. John Byamukama.
He used the platform to condemn those who work and gather for themselves at the expense of others which he called corruption. He also condemned those practices that involve use fake methodology e.g different malpractices that deprive people of their basic rights.
Fr. Maximiano Ngabirano, the vice chancellor of St. Ignatius university Kabale used the platform to inform people that the Diocese thought of starting this university in order to provide hands-on education that is distinct from other universities. St. Ignatius University received an operational license on 30/8/2023 to continue fostering education and National Council for Higher Education has accredited 5 courses and the semester will commence in January 2024.
Dr. Peter Ngategize, the chairman Bishop’s Annual Appeal Fund 2023 said that BAAF started in 2008 and many projects have been accomplished for example Commercial houses in Kisoro, Rukungiri and Kabale districts, construction of a Golden Jubilee House at Rushoroza Hill, establishment of Radio Maria, Renovation of Rushoroza Cathedral, Purchase of shares in Centenary among others. he said the university will boost education. Rukiga District had target of 450 million and raised 270 million shillings both in cash and pledges.
Fr. Marius Byamukama, Parish Priest Kitanga parish and Dean Kitanga Deanery thanked all those who have contributed towards the successful BAAF function. He also thanked all those who have contributed to the preparation of Bucundura sub-parish including Kiconco Patrick Katabazi, a renowned lawyer who roofed the priests house, and Dr. Sylivia Arinaitwe for equipping the sub parish with all equipment needed for the parish to start off. Bucundura parish will be opened by Rt. Rev. Callist Rubaramira with a decree on November 11, 2023.
Mr. Robert Mbabazi Kakwerere, the Rukiga Dirstrict chairperson L.C. V welcomed Bishop Callist in Rukiga district and appreciated the team spirit in the district. He thanked Bishop for the initiative of starting university. He said Rukiga district team worked hard and in the national rankings moved from 151st to 19th and thanked the Rukiga MPs for working together for the people. He also appealed to the people to get involved in government programs like Parish Development Model.
Hon. Caroline Kamusiime, Woman MP Rukiga district and member of the Pan African Parliament urged people to always let the will of God prevail and they should involve God in all their daily life. She thanked the Bishop for appointing Fr. Marius to Kitanga parish. She hailed him as a hardworking priest who is pushing for the development of Kitanga parish and Rukiga District. She urged the people of Rukiga to unite for development. and implored the youth to stop being used by people with political motives. She raised 9m for Kirundwe Catholic hiika towards clearance of the loan they procured in construction of the church and contributed 1m towards BAAF.
Hon. Roland Ndyomugyenyi, Mp Rukiga said the secondary schools in the Diocese and district will be able to raise the enrolment for the university. He was proud to mention that he pays school fees of over 60 students whom he said will be enrolled in St. Ignatius University. He reminded people that PDM money is not meant of the rich people and civil servants but is meant for the 39% of Ugandans who are poor and is to be repaid within 3 years. He informed that he sits on COSASE in order to fight corruption and so his work should not be misinterpreted with politics. He contributed 10m towards BAAF.
Speaking as the chief guest, Dr. Sylivia Arinaitwe Mwanaki, Deputy Managing Director of the National Water and Sewerage Cooperation (NWSC) thanked the Bishop and clergy for fostering development. She thanked the Anglican fraternity for the solidarity showed at the function and the contributions they made towards BAAF. She expressed gratitude to the MPs that graced the function. She also implored parents to work hard so that their children can get an opportunity to study from St. Ignatius University. She urges students to work hard and remain focused so that their future could be bright. She also urged all the people to always work together and make friends as this helps them to progress in development. Dr. Sylivia was delighted to mention that she has already contributed 2 million coffee seedlings to farmers in Rukiga district as a way of boosting household income in the district.
The Bishop in his remarks thanked Dr. Sylivia and all the civil leaders and indeed all the people of God for the contributions made. He said that the University will benefit the people of Kigezi and Uganda in general in terms of offering practical skills. He invited all the people to BAAF climax on November 25, 2023 who he will be held at Our Lady of Good Shepherd Rushoroza cathedral and urged people to continue mobilizing resources since 3b shillings are needed for the university to start with necessities. On a special note, Bishop Callist thanked the chief guest for making friends and thanked her for initiating the coffee project in the region. St. Ignatius University will help people to maximize revenue by teaching people how to use small pieces of land to maximize produce.