Lira- HIS HOLINESS Pope Francis has acknowledged, in his condolence message, the long Priestly and Episcopal service of the late Bishop of Lira Diocese [Emeritus] Joseph Oyanga who was laid to rest on Thursday after passing on last Sunday.
The Holy Father’s message was read by Bishop Joseph Franzelli of Lira Diocese to a huge congregation at Lira Cathedral Ordination Ground where prayers for burying Bishop Oyanga’s departed soul was held.
“The Holy Father sent his heartfelt condolences to you, the clergy and all faithful of the Diocese of Lira with gratitude for Bishop Oyanga’s long Priestly and Episcopal service. I commend his soul to the mercy of God our Father. As a pledge of hope for in the risen Lord, he Godly impacts his apostolic message to all present for the life of Christian father,” Pope Francis’s short condolence message signed by his secretary reads.
Bishop Franzelli also noted that the funeral of Bishop Emeritus Oyanga was not just an event for Lira Diocese but of a communion of a bigger Catholic Church in Uganda.
In another condolence message from the Uganda Episcopal Conference and delivered by its Chairman, Archbishop John Baptist Odama, the death of Bishop Emeritus Oyanga was a shock.
“In this difficult moment of Lira Diocese, the Uganda Episcopal Conference would like to express its solidarity with you. The Bishop seemed to be able to live the probable nine lives have been cut often giving us hope of his recovery and survival,” UEC’s message reads.
His Grace Emmanuel Obbo, the Archbishop of Tororo Archdiocese, where the late Bishop was ordained as a Priest and from where he died, asked for prayers for the late Bishop Oyanga.
“Each one of us here has come to mourn and to give farewell to our brother the Bishop, our brother and our friend. May we continue to pray for him because we know very well in life there is nobody who is perfect as humans; he may have his wrong which I know he prepared for it, for his death. He must have pleaded Lord have mercy on me [him] until that night at 1:00 am on Sunday,” he says.
Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Kampala Diocese, Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga said because no one knows ones’ status before God, there is therefore the need for renewal.
“Let us remember why God created us. So today we remember God’s presence and two we wish to thank him for the gift of life of the Bishop and for the so many good things that has been done by him as we read in this booklet. Consequently, we are called upon to renew our selves so as we bid farewell to our dear Bishop; let us from here, each one of us renew himself so that when the time comes we find ourselves worthy,” Dr. Lwanga urged.
Other Bishops present at the sendoff of their colleague included Joseph Fillepi of Kotido, Sabino Ochan Odoki of Arua, Santos Linos Wanok of Nebbi, Damiano Guzetti of Moroto and Charles Martin Wamika of Jinja Dioceses.
Alongside, were Bishop John Charles Odur Kami, the caretaker of Kitgum Diocese under Church of Uganda, Bishop Martin Ogwal from the Pentecostal Church, Bishop Tom Ibrahim Okello from All Nations Christian Church and a representative from the Orthodox Church.