St. Adrian’s Seminary Rubanda celebrated her Seminary Day yesterday Saturday, 15.7.2023 with Mass presided over by Msgr. John Vianney Sunday, Vicar General of Kabale Diocese, a function held at the Seminary premises. In his homily, the Vicar General, who is also an OB of St. Adrian’s Seminary, tasked parents to always support their seminarians to continue with the discipline which they acquire from the seminary. He noted that many students in holidays are not followed up by parents and their discipline deteriorates, and this affects their children’s stay in the seminary and subsequently their performance.
In his speech, the rector of the seminary, Rev. Fr. Gervase Tumwebase said that the feast of St. Adrian in the Catholic Church is always celebrated on July 8, but for convenience, the seminary decided to celebrate it on July 15. He noted that the seminary has gone through many hardships to be what it is today, but thanked all those that have contributed towards its well being. Special mention was about the group of OBs called SASOBA (St. Adrian’s Seminary Old Boys Association) who have contributed tremendously and appealed to them to continue supporting their alma mater. The rector launched a fundraising drive towards overhauling the science laboratory that would cost 35 million shillings.
The Old Students under their umbrella SASOBA (St. Adrian’s Seminary Old Boys Association) thanked the seminary administration for always involving them in working for the wellbeing of their institution. The president of SASOBA, Eng. Arinaitwe Johnson noted that as OBs, they participated in the construction of A Leve Block, the Seminary Chapel and Kataabe project. They also contributed over 80% towards the purchase of Seminary Brass Band, and have so far installed 10 computers in the computer laboratory. They also continue to offer career guidance to the seminarians and are yet to participate in this year’s Bishop’s Annual Appeal Fund (BAAF) whose climax in on November 25, 2023 and the collections are meant for establishment of St. Ignatius University Kabale. For the drive on overhauling the science laboratory, the OBs contributed over 7 million shillings.
Speaking as the chief guest, Hon. Kamuntu Moses Mwongyera, the Rubanda West MP thanked St. Adrian’s Seminary Rubanda for nurturing the boy child and pledged to continue supporting the seminary. He pledged to offer unlimited internet to the whole seminary for two years and contributed 10 million shillings towards the fundraising drive. Hon. Kamuntu urged seminarians to remain focused and disciplined and this will give them a bright future. He also promised to individually renovate the grotto of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Rubanda Parish.
Humble beginnings of St. Adrian’s Seminary
St. Adrian’s Seminary Rubanda was started in 1982 in response to the political circumstances of the time with Fr. Vincent Bagarimu (RIP) as the first Rector. At that time the political situation was unfriendly and it was rather challenging for one to be admitted in secondary school because one’s faith/religion mattered a lot. This seminary started in order to counteract this discriminatory situation, and so it started in a disguised way as St. Adrian’s Vocational Secondary School.
Later, Fr. Stephen Bihunyira (RIP) who was the then Parish Priest of Rubanda Parish, asked Bishop Barnabas Halem’Imana to make the school a fully fledged Seminary, a request which was accepted by the Bishop. The Bishop wrote to Rome and the Congregation for the Propagation of Faith (Propaganda Fide) accepted the institution to be elevated to Seminary.
The pioneer students were 66 in number and only 25 of the sat for UCE exams at St. Paul’s Seminary Rushoroza in 1986 due to National Resistance Army rebellion which had interrupted the running of public services. The Seminary was put under the patronage of St. Adrian in memory of Rev. Fr. Adrian Fonten, the first Parish Priest of Rubanda Parish.
The establishment of St. Adrian’s Seminary at first received cold response from both clergy and lay people because they thought St. Paul’s Seminary Rushoroza was enough to produce the required number of priests to cater for the needs of Kabale Diocese. St. Adrian’s Seminary Rubanda as so far produced over 40 priests and may professional men doing commendable service to the church and the nation.