The youth have been urged to keep focused in order to be successful. This call was made on Sunday by Msgr. John Vianney Sunday, Vicar General of Kabale Diocese at the conclusion of the three day conference organized for the youth by the Diocesan Office of the Children and Youth. Preaching during Mass of the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Msgr. John Vianney Sunday said that the third Sunday of Advent is always a Sunday of joy and rejoicing and called upon the youth to always rejoice in the Lord.

Msgr. John Vianney Sunday, Vicar General Kabale Diocese, preaching to the youth at the closure of their conference on Sunday.

Third Sunday of Advent is also called Gaudete Sunday a call to rejoice in the Lord (Gaudete in Domini Semper). When we are in him, we are always happy, for in him is all joy and happiness.  3rs Sunday in advent is called Gaudete Sunday, Sunday of Joy. In lent, 4th Sunday is called Laetare Sunday (Sunday of happiness and rejoicing).

Prayer and repentance are the pillars in advent for one preparing for birth of Christ. After three weeks, one is already filled with Christ and so has reasons to rejoice and be happy. For the youth in this time of Advent, you have to thank God for the gift of facilitators who have brought you more close to Christ and prepared you for Christmas.

In the first reading from the Book of Prophet Isaiah chapter 61, the prophet says “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me for he has anointed me”.  The church is one and the members are special by virtue of anointing. There are 3 sacraments that involve anointing with Chrism (baptism, confirmation and holy orders). These are received only once in lifetime and can’t be repeated. They imprint an indelible mark to the recipient.  Before one is  receives any of these sacraments which involves anointing, he/she is first called by name, meaning that one is claimed for Christ. The Vicar General therefore urged nd implored the youth to always be proud of their Catholic identity and that they should remain in the Catholic Church.

Procession with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

The theme of the conference involved Eucharist, which is found only in the Catholic Church. There is power in the Blessed Eucharist and so he urged them to always prepare themselves for the worthy reception of Eucharist. The 2nd reading added that we pray constantly on top of rejoicing. Be children of prayer.  Do not pray when things are hard or tough, but even in happy moments. As you pray, ask God to take away all bad characters, and habits.

In the gospels, John the Baptist does not call himself what he is not. He was so humble to admit that he is not the one they thought him to be. He does not take the position of Jesus because he knows his level. He is a humble man. He is the exact opposite of many youth today who are ‘stinkingly’ proud. Humility comes from the Latin word humus (meaning soil). When one says be humble, he means that be on the ground. Pride is a date and step to destruction. Therefore rejoice all the time, pray always and remain good so that we enjoy his company.

Mr. Habomugisha Francis (in green suit) with Diocesan Youth leadership and their chaplain

Mr. Francis Habomugisha, the Kabale Diocesan Youth Chairperson, also the vice chairperson of the Catholic youth for the whole of Uganda thanked God for the gift of life granted to the youth and keeping them safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He thanked the Vicar General for leading Mass and giving them a heavy package of message to lead their throughout their youthful stage. He also thanked all the other facilitators of the youth conference and those who participated in the organization for its success. He urged the youth to put into practice what they have been taught in the conference. Mr. Francis used the opportunity to announce to the youth that National Youth Conference will resume next year 2024 and Hoima Diocese has been selected by the Uganda Episcopal Conference to host the 2024 National Youth Conference.

Fr. Januario Nomugisha, the Diocesan chaplain for children and youth in one of the sessions of the youth conference

Fr. Januario Nomugisha, the Diocesan chaplain for the children and youth thanked the Vicar General from his input to the youth. He also thanked the different Parish Youth chaplains and facilitators who gave different teachings to the youth in their conference. He also thanked Hon. Wilfred Niwagaba, Hon. Catherine Ndamira and Dr. Sylvia Arinaitwe for their contributions towards feeding the youth in the conference. He also appreciated Dr. Sylvia Arinaitwe who also donated 400 mattresses to the youth office.

Fr. Januario also said about 800 youth had participated in the conference, but that others could have been limited by the fee that was charged. The youth turned up in their different lay apostolate movements eg legionaries, CCR, Xavierians, St. Jude Thaddeus. Sports competitions and legionaries won tag of war, soccer was taken by priests and seminarians.

Mr. Methodius Mureebe, the Manager of Uganda Parliamentary SACCO, in his remarks as chief guest thanked Msgr. John Vianney Sunday, Vicar General of Kabale Diocese for the beautiful homily. He congratulated the youth upon completion of successful conference and urged them to put in practice what they have been taught, both spiritual and physical. He also thanked them for being smart and urged them to remain smart even after the conference.

Mr. Mureebe Methodius sharing a light moment with Fr. Januario Nomugisha

Be considerate to your parents who are working hard to see your future bright. Avoid immorality, bad behavior, bad company and learn how to sacrifice for the sake of bright future. For example I used to walk on foot from Nyarushanje Parish to St. Paul’s seminary Rushoroza to attend classes so that I could become what I am today – Mr. Methodius Mureebe.

He urged the youth to work hard, start up some projects and supported one of the youth  from Nyamwegabira parish with 200,000 shillings to start a poultry project. He also urged the youth to love their church and contributed 5m to the youth office.

Vicar. General Delivered greetings from the Bishop and introduced Fr. Fidelis Ndagijimana as the new Pastoral Coordinator for Kabale Diocese.  He also thanked Fr. Januario Nomugisha for the work done in the youth office. Thanked Mr. Mureebe Methodius for the virtue of humility and always supporting his Catholic Church. He also thanked the youth for turning up and urged them to remain Catholics, remain well behaved and protect their dignity. He implored them to improved on the code of dressing as a way of protecting their dignity, work on their behavior and be proud of what they do.

He concluded by announcing the Deanery Youth Chaplains as follows:
1. Fr. Martin Nkurunziza for Rushoroza Deanery and in charge of  YCS, St. Jude  and Altar servers.
2. Fr. Mbabazi Ignatius for Bukinda Deanery and in charge of the Eucharistic Crusaders (Abanyangabo)
3. Fr. Ndinumukiza Ambrose for Makiro Deanery and in charge of Catholic Charismatic Renewal
4. Fr. Niwamumpeire Roland for Mutolere Deanery and in charge of scouts
5. Fr. Cleophas Mugabe for Nyakibale Deanery and in charge of Focolare
6. Fr. Zaverio Tindimwebwa for Rubanda Deanery and in charge of the Xavierians
7. Fr. Brian Niwagaba for Kitanga Deanery and will be in charge Divine Mercy devotion after it has been approved by the Bishop.
8. Fr. Januario Nomugisha remains the Diocesan Chaplain for Youth and Children and will be in charge of young Legionaries of Mary.

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