Hundreds of enthusiastic Christians gathered at Our Lady of Good Shepherd, Rushoroza Cathedral Parish in Kabale Diocese on Sunday to celebrate 100 years since the inception of Catholicism’s propagation in the Kigezi region.
Established in November 1923 by Henri Streicher, it became the first Catholic Cathedral in Kigezi, declared by the then-Catholic Missionary Bishop overseeing the Rwenzori Vicariate (now Mbarara Archdiocese). Bishop Streicher had sent Yohana Ssebalija in 1909 and Yohana Kitagana in 1911 as the region’s first catechists to extend the Gospel to Kigezi’s communities.
Calistus Rubaramira, Bishop of Kabale Diocese, highlighted that Kitagana initially served in Nyarushanje (now Nyarushanje sub-county in Rukungiri district) before establishing the Christian community of Rushoroza in Kabale. He was aided by Athanase Nalugumbula and a team of dedicated catechists. In 1923, the Missionaries of Africa—Fathers Laane and Nicolet and Brother Theophile—arrived at Rushoroza to provide religious support. Since then, the parish has given rise to 38 parishes across Kabale, Rubanda, Kisoro, Kanungu, Rukungiri, and Rukiga districts.
During the event, President Yoweri Museveni, represented by Jessica Rose Epel Alupo, the Vice President of Uganda, commended the church for instilling good morals and fostering neighborliness within communities. He also urged religious leaders to educate society about methods for fostering prosperity, particularly through the practice of commercial agriculture.