The West Nile Catholic Parish of St. Anthony Angal in Nebbi Diocese has celebrated 100 years since its establishment by the Comboni Missionaries in 1917.
The colourful Centenary celebration held at the parish grounds and presided over by the Papal Nuncio Augustine Blume attracted hundreds of Catholic faithful from Zombo, Arua and Nebbi districts.
According to the Parish Priest Fr. Elio Zanai, Angal Parish was the first Catholic contact among the West Nile communities of the Alur and Madi as the Italian Comboni Missionaries reached the area by the twentieth Century.
President Yoweri Museveni, in a speech read for him by the Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, lauded the church as important conduit for attitude change towards development. He said that Uganda and Africa in general are blessed with abundant resources, good climate, sufficient rains and sunshine but the challenge is the commitment of leadership to develop it.
He urged the church to continue sensitising people the value of hard work, faithfulness, patience and self-reliance and asked the church to continue being agents of positive change in society beyond evangelism, teaching and discipleship.
Museveni noted now is the time for hard work, coupled with justice and integrity that must be taught to the next generation as the only way to preserve the nation from infiltration by moral decadence.
The President acknowledged the work of the Comboni missionaries who arrived in Uganda in 1917 for their humanitarianism and said they laid a strong foundation for the church as seen in the social-economic changes witnessed in the areas in education, health and economic development opportunities.
He congratulated Angal Catholic Parish for being a model of development not only spiritually, but also in the social and economic arenas and urged all the people in the parish, to remember and emulate the legacy of the founders.
Museveni, who gave Shs30 million towards the function, also reminded the people of West Nile to maintain peace and security.
The function attended by the State Minister for Northern Uganda, Grace Kwiyucwiny, the Archbishop of Gulu John Baptist Odama, the Bishop of Arua Diocese Rev. Sabino Odoki Ocan, Alur Chiefdom representatives and several members of Parliament and local leaders from the three districts.