By Francis Jjunju
Over 2400 pilgrims from Hoima Diocese have arrived at the Uganda Martyrs Catholic Shrine Namugongo in a jovial mood led by the brass band of St. Peter’s Primary School as style that left many along Namugongo road from Kyaliwajala upto the Basilica in wonder.
The group arrived at Namugongo after the Julius Nyerere mass at around 3.45pm Thursday June 1st afternoon together with priest and the religious from Hoima Catholic diocese for the June 3rd Uganda Martyrs’ day celebrations.
The pilgrims have walked a distance of about 198kilo meters to Namugongo to remember the 45 Uganda martyrs who were executed in 1886 by Kabaka Mwanga for their devotion to Christianity.
In an interview with Radio Sapientia’s Francis Jjunju at Comboni Center in Kyaliwajjala where they had converged, the Pilgrim Coordinator Mrs. Mary Obbo said that the pilgrims moved in three groups from the vicariates of; Masindi, Kibale and Hoima.
She further says that they have found no disaster on their journey of faith to Namugongo acknowledging their zeal, courage and faith which gives affirmation that Ugandans continue to grow in faith and love for their own people and the country because most of them emphasise prayer for a peaceful Uganda.
Hoima diocese is this year’s animator of the Uganda Martyrs celebrations at the Catholic Shrine Namugongo led by the ordinary Rt. Rev. Bishop Vincent Kirabo.
The celebrations are marked under the theme; Stand Firm in the Faith that you have been taught, Colossians 2:7
Earlier, about 500 members of the Choir from Hoima diocese arrived and joined several other pilgrims already converged at Namugongo Catholic Martyrs’ shrine.
Father Jude Ssemambo, the publicist of Hoima diocese Martyrs Organizing Committee says that out of the estimated 2.5 million pilgrims expected at the Uganda Martyrs Catholic Shrine Namugongo, at least 1500 will be from foreign countries.